The Vancouver Sun reports that the People’s Republic of China:

Has removed the University of Calgary from its list of accredited institutions — a move school officials are concerned is connected to the Dalai Lama’s visit last fall.

The university hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader and awarded him an honourary degree when he visited the city in September.

In December, officials were made aware the Chinese government had removed the university from a list posted on the Ministry of Education’s website.

It’s unclear what this removal actually means. The People’s Republic of China has no power to “accredit” a foreign university, though this adjustment could be troublesome for Chinese students studying at the University of Calgary. There are about 600 such students studying at the Alberta school.

According to the article: “a spokeswoman with the Chinese consulate in Calgary would not respond to questions about why the government removed the university’s name, saying only cryptically that the U of C ‘should know.’”

In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama and followers fled to India and set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala. Beijing claims Tibet as a part of China. China sees the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, as a bothersome, revolutionary figure.

The Dalai Lama has received numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world, occasionally to the infuriation of China.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer