Report: Universities Accepted $10 Billion from Foreign Governments, Failing to Report $1 Billion

A new study into the finances of colleges and universities revealed that American institutions accepted approximately $10 billion from foreign governments between 2013 and 2018. During that time, China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar traded funds in exchange for influence over campus discourse on foreign affairs.

According to a study by The Clarion Project, American colleges and universities have accepted billions of dollars in donations from foreign governments with almost $1 billion left unaccounted for. The report revealed that the United States Department is investigating relationships between American universities and foreign countries. Qatar, China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are amongst the countries that have been tied to suspicious donations to American institutions. The report claims that American universities and colleges around the country failed to report almost $1 billion in funding from foreign governments.

In a press release that was published in February, the Department of Education Some of the foreign nations have been accused of infiltrating campus to steal proprietary research. Others, like China, have been accused of spreading propaganda on American campuses that portray their government in a positive light.

“These colleges and universities actively solicit foreign governments, corporations, and nationals for funds although some donors are known to be hostile to the United States and may be seeking to project ‘soft power,’ steal sensitive and proprietary research and development data and other intellectual property, and spread propaganda benefitting foreign governments,” the Department of Education wrote.

The Department of Education claims that American colleges and universities regularly solicit funds from foreign governments. The institutions, which are required under the law to report these donations to the federal government, have reportedly failed to do so on numerous occasions.

In exchange for these funds, universities have agreed to open foreign campuses in the donor’s country. Moreover, institutions that have partnered with the Confucius Institute have agreed to incorporate favorable coverage of China in their academic curriculum.

Our preliminary review suggests some American IHEs [Institutes of Higher Education] relentlessly pursue funds from autocracies such as China and Qatar, even opening foreign campuses in exchange for donations, without evidence systems in place to mitigate the identified risks, including the heightened insider threat risk, associated with such activities….

The evidence we have reviewed to date tracks Congressional findings that American colleges and universities have provided unprecedented levels of access to foreign governments, corporations and persons without adequate oversight…

The study noted that foreign governments primarily target America’s largest and most prestigious institutions. Breitbart News reported in January that Professor Charles Lieber, the former chairman of Harvard University’s chemistry department, was arrested after he failed to disclose his financial relationship with the Chinese government.

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