As network of Chinese-funded institutes at American universities expands, some professors see opportunities. Others worry about academic freedom and whether centers promote "culturetainment," not scholarship.
Stellenbosch University on Sunday announced that its governing council had approved new principles for a language policy. Stellenbosch is one of South Africa's leading research universities, but the dominance of Afrikaans language courses at the university is seen as discouraging by many black students and potential students who are fluent in English and see Afrikaans as a relic of apartheid. The university has been going back and forth on how much it will emphasize one language or the other, facing criticism on all sides.
Organizations that represent research universities have been negotiating with federal agencies over proposed regulations that they fear would effectively prevent many international students from participating in studies financed by business. Currently international students generally may work on basic research, but there are more restrictions on classified research. The new regulations would make research subject to proprietary review by corporate sponsors ineligible for the basic research exemption. Such a rule would exclude international students from too many studies, and would not provide essential protections to American interests, the groups argue. The issue has been being discussed for months, and a new version of the rules may be proposed soon. The groups that are representing universities are the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Council on Governmental Relations.