Vrije Universiteit returns Chinese money


Vrije Universiteit returns Chinese money



The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will return the subsidy from China that it received for an investigation into human rights. The neutrality of the research came under discussion after a NOS (in Dutch) news report.

The Cross Cultural Human Rights Centre, linked to the Vrije Universiteit, received money for research into human rights at a Chinese university. This transpired yesterday from items that the NOS (in Dutch) had requested. It referred to amounts of between EUR 250,000 and EUR 300,000 every year.

It led to an outcry because universities in China frequently have close contact with the political regimeExperts question the independence of the research centre.

Suspicions were heightened as employees of the Amsterdam research centre publicly defended China’s human rights policy. A lectures of the Vrije Universiteit, Peter Peverelli, denied in an interview with the University magazine ‘Ad Valvas’ that the regime is suppressing the Uighurs.

In a statement on its website, the university says that doubts have ‘understandably’ been cast on the independence of the research. The University even calls the ‘“appearance” of dependence “unacceptable”’. The Chinese subsidy will therefore be ended and returned. The University will also investigate whether the independence of the research was ensured on all fronts. (HOP, JvE)



News editor Annebelle de Bruijn

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