Department of Education Investigating Universities’ Foreign Funding
A broader investigation by the Department of Education has found that U.S. higher education institutions have received $6.5 billion in foreign funding that has not been reported. This foreign funding has come from a variety of countries including, China and Saudi Arabia.
Both universities have responded with statements highlighting their desire to comply with the request. The law requires that universities report foreign funding that exceeds $250,000 within a year. However, prior administrations have not focused on enforcing this law to the extent that the Trump administration has.
Leaders in U.S. universities assert the importance of collaboration with foreign countries when it comes to pursuing innovative research. The Trump administration has clamped down on this law out of anxiety that foreign countries are gaining access to research that could be used for their own benefit.
This investigation has also received increased attention after the chairman of Harvard’s chemistry department was arrested. The arrest was due to federal charges accusing the chairman of failing to disclose and lying about foreign funding received while accepting American funding for the same research.