How is China influencing American higher education?

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio sent letters to 22 university presidents calling on them to end partnerships with Chinese universities that are aiding Beijing’s military technology initiatives.

The problem is real.

Unfortunately, Congress and the public have limited visibility into how college campuses are being exploited. Since 1986, federal law has required postsecondary institutions to disclose foreign contributions to the Department of Education. Universities have since disclosed over $36 billion in gifts and contracts from foreign sources. More recently, between 2014 and 2020, postsecondary institutions disclosed over $16 billion in contributions.

But it’s unclear if this amount is an accurate reflection of the contributions that colleges and universities have received.

review of the Department of Education’s website reveals significant problems with the three different databases of disclosures. None of these data sets presents a complete picture of foreign contributions. One of the data sets shows contributions dating back to the 1980s, another includes disclosures from 2014 to 2020, and another shows contributions since 2020. One of the databases includes the names of the sources of funds, while the others do not. Each of the data sets is rife with misspellings and contributions labeled as anonymous.

Absent thorough disclosures by colleges and universities, federal investigators, Congress, and the public have limited awareness of the extent to which foreign contributions like those from China are influencing and exploiting our campuses.

Click here to read the full article from Washington Examiner.

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