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Wesleyan Won't Pursue China Campus

October 25, 2019

Wesleyan University will not move ahead with exploring a possible campus in China, President Michael S. Roth said in a campuswide email Thursday.

“As I wrote on my blog earlier this month, in considering this possible campus in China, we needed to be sure that the academic work would be in line with the distinctive pragmatic liberal education at the core of Wesleyan’s mission,” Roth wrote. “Further conversations with those who proposed the partnership have made it clear that our respective goals could not be sufficiently aligned -- not to mention the questions we had around issues of academic freedom and the implications for our home campus.”

Roth said in the Oct. 11 blog post that the university's conversations about a possible China campus "have been very preliminary -- should it be a film academy, a liberal arts college, some form of hybrid?"

The Middletown Press reported that Wesleyan was approached by one of China’s largest private companies, the Hengdian Group, about establishing a China campus. About 70 Wesleyan students participated in a protest last week opposing the campus and supporting protestors in Hong Kong. The Wesleyan Student Assembly passed a resolution calling for greater transparency on the part of the administration about the possible campus.


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