How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

National Association of Scholars

Updated June 21, 2022. This list, originally published in March 2018, will be updated periodically. If you know of additional Confucius Institutes that have opened or closed, please let us know at [email protected].

Since 2004, the Chinese government has sponsored Confucius Institutes on college and university campuses around the world, providing teachers, textbooks, and operating funds. NAS’s 2017 report, Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, found that Confucius Institutes undermine academic integrity and import censorship.

Confucius Institutes began closing in the wake of state and federal policies that targeted Confucius Institutes for their risks to U.S. national security. But in June 2022, NAS found that many once-defunct Confucius Institutes had reopened under new names. As detailed in After Confucius Institutes: China’s Enduring Influence on American Higher Education, many colleges and universities had replaced their Confucius Institute with a substantially similar program, or maintained closed relationships with Chinese institutions that had partnered in the Confucius Institute. These rebranding efforts match those of the Chinese government, which has reorganized Confucius Institutes under a new organization, the Chinese International Education Foundation.

NAS counts a total of 18 Confucius Institutes in the United States. This includes four that are scheduled to close: the University of Akron (June 30, 2022), Southern Utah University (June 30, 2022), Bryant University (date unclear), and Alabama A&M University (date unclear). It also includes one, St. Cloud State University, that is "paused" while the university conducts a review.

NAS counts a total of 104 Confucius Institutes that have closed or are in the process of closing, along with the stated reason for the closure. Of these, at least 28 have replaced their Confucius Institute with a similar program, and at least 58 have maintained close relationships with their former Confucius Institute partner.

You may also browse our database of documents regarding Confucius Institutes and their replacement programs for more than 80 colleges and universities.

Download an Excel chart of the current Confucius Institutes in the United States.

Download an Excel chart of US-based Confucius Institutes that closed.


Image Credit: Kreeder13 CC BY-SA 4.0

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