Campus Mayhem, Funded by Our Adversaries


Campus Mayhem, Funded by Our Adversaries

May 14, 2024

The featured image for a post titled "Campus Mayhem, Funded by Our Adversaries"

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.

The latest round of campus madness, in the form of student protests over the Israel-Gaza conflict, should prompt American onlookers to ask a simple question: Why exactly do we give these institutions our money? But as Americans hopefully reassess their continued financing of activist madhouses, we will also need to look more carefully at the funding that American higher education receives from abroad.

Simply put, our universities are flush with money from countries of concern. Since 2014, U.S. institutions of higher education have received $1.7 billion in contracts and gifts from China, $2.7 billion from Qatar, $1.3 billion from Saudi Arabia, $565 million from the United Arab Emirates, and $103 million from Russia. This money could be used to establish research centers, fund pet projects or professors, and generally help direct an institution’s priorities, with few guardrails to prevent abuses or conflicts of interest.

As a predictable result, foreign funding has enabled serious security breaches and contradicted our own foreign policy goals. In 2022, for example, a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, was found to have had his research building surveillance software funded by grants from both the Department of Defense and the Chinese company Alibaba, a company the Chinese government uses to surveil its Uyghur population. It hardly makes sense to adopt a forceful posture, and in the case of China, to talk of a potential war, against countries at the same time that we welcome their money into some of our most important institutions.

Continue reading in the Washington Examiner.

Explore More Policy Areas

InnovationGovernanceNational SecurityEducation
Show All

Stay in the loop

Get occasional updates about our upcoming events, announcements, and publications.