Confucius Institutes, sponsored by the Chinese government, serve to promote Chinese language, literature, and culture throughout the world. Confucius Institutes commonly partner with institutions of higher education.
In an updated Policy Directive issued on May 25, 2012, the
Department of State (DOS) amended prior guidance issued on May 17 regarding exchange
agreements between Confucius Institutes and U.S. colleges and universities that
are facilitated through a college or university J-1 exchange visitor program.
Important changes include clarifications that:
- “When conducting university or college-based activities with
Confucius Institutes, a college or university sponsor’s accreditation is
sufficient to comply with the regulations set forth at 22 CFR 62.20(c),” and
that “Those courses offered through Confucius Institutes may be taught at
either the Confucius Institute or the partnering college or university.”
- Although DOS continues to maintain that exchange visitors teaching
in K-12 schools must be documented in the “Teacher” exchange visitor category, Chinese
language teachers currently “sponsored by university or college sponsors who
are teaching at primary or secondary schools are not required to depart the
United States at the end of this academic year, unless that was their intended
date of departure.” Instead, DOS “will work with sponsors to ensure that Exchange
Visitors are sponsored in the proper category with the appropriately-designated
sponsor. The Department of State realizes this process will take time, and has
taken steps… to minimize any disruption to individuals and institutions.” College/university sponsors whose J-1 exchange visitors are
teaching in public and private K-12 schools under a post-secondary institution
category such as “Professors” or “Research Scholars” should contact the
Department of State’s Office of Designation at 202-632-9310 or by email at email@example.com June 8, 2012 to provide certain information and for specific
instructions on next steps.
Read the amended policy directive for additional details.