Department of Education uncovers billions in unreported foreign funds at higher education institutions

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WASHINGTON (WLNS) – Higher education institutions are required by law to report foreign gifts and contracts valued at more than $250,000 to be in compliance with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Currently, the Department is not receiving sufficient information to determine compliance with Section 117’s provisions, according to a Department of Education press release.

The Department of Education’s own research uncovered billions of dollars in unreported funds from foreign sources to higher education institutions.

The Department found multiple university contracts with Chinese Communist Party-subsidized companies and at least one institution that has multiple direct contracts with the Chinese Communist Party itself.

Notices of Investigation and Records Requests:

Since July 2019, American institutions have reported $6.5 billion in previously undisclosed foreign gifts and contracts. Institutions have made identities of the donors anonymous for at least $1.14 billion in funds from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia.

“Colleges and universities owe it to all of us to be transparent about their foreign financial ties,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Transparency and accountability help protect academic freedom and our country’s national security and economic future.”

A new online portal was unveiled today that will make it easier for schools to report foreign gifts and contracts. The portal requires institutions to provide more information about their foreign financial ties.

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