China’s Confucius Institute strategy — Colleges get a serving of language instruction, with a side helping of censorship — appears to have run it’s course. An increasing number of colleges are rejecting the institutes, and those that don’t, come under criticism.
Why haven’t more countries tried the minimum viable product of this strategy, offering simple language instruction? There needs not be any ideological control. There is an easily-targeted cohort as well: Boarding Schools. The language offerings at even the most elite, well-endowed institutions are often predictable and limited.
What boarding school would turn down an instructor in Turkish, gratis? In Russian…or for that matter, in German? A great deal of the future political and business ruling classes pass through these institutions and I suspect the ROI would be very high.