‘The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that it is launching an investigation into Harvard and Yale after they failed to disclose about $375 million in gifts and contracts from China and Saudi Arabia in the past four years.
Harvard and Yale are the latest in the Education Department’s continuing efforts to crack down on foreign influence, particularly from China. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. universities have failed to report they brought in $6.5 billion from foreign nations since 1990.
A major aspect of the alleged foreign influence on universities is through gifts and grants, which can come with strings attached and might compromise their academic independence.
“This is about transparency,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement Wednesday. “If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom. Moreover, it’s what the law requires. Unfortunately, the more we dig, the more we find that too many are underreporting or not reporting at all. We will continue to hold colleges and universities accountable and work with them to ensure their reporting is full, accurate, and transparent, as required by the law.”
On top of failing to disclose possible financial conflicts to academic freedom, Harvard even sponsored a 30-year old Chinese national who’ve attempted to steal research.’