Education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven wants to talk to the University of Groningen (RUG) as soon as possible because of concerns about alleged Chinese influence on education.
She has published Wednesday in the radio
news and Co
The reason for her concerns are reports from the
about a professor of Chinese language and culture at the RUG.
A so-called Confucius Institute, an organization run by China, pays part of his salary and the contract does not allow the professor to "damage China's image".
The educational institutions that work together within a Confucius Institute are, among other things, committed to transferring the Chinese language in culture to other countries.
They receive money for this from China.
Universities have a legal duty to guarantee academic freedom, says Van Engelshoven, and they should not "haggle" with that.
"For me there is not tampered with academic freedom," said the minister in the broadcast of
news and Co
Inspection to move if academic freedom is not guaranteed
If universities do not comply with that obligation, then it is up to the education inspectorate, says a spokesman for the Ministry of Education.
If a conversation yields too little and also a "repair order" is not fulfilled, the ministry can in an extreme case turn off the money tap.
According to the RUG, the agreement "does not put pressure on academic freedom", the
According to the university, cooperation with the Confucius Institute is in line with "the social task of the RUG".
No abuses with the organization would be known to the university.
Knowledge institute Clingendael concluded in July last year that most Dutch researchers who work with China censor themselves.
As a result, knowledge about the country remains poor, because sensitive topics are not investigated, the researchers stated.