More than 70 U.S. universities that received funding from the Chinese government did not disclose those donations to the Department of Education, prompting concerns from lawmakers and watchdogs about Beijing and the Communist Party’s growing influence on American college campuses.
The DOE requires all credentialed universities to reveal how much money they receive in foreign gifts of more than $250,000.
However, only 30 percent of U.S. institutions linked to Confucius Institutes, which are underwritten by the Chinese government to promote Chinese language and culture, do so, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.
The newspaper reached out to 75 higher learning institutions that failed to report their foreign funding to the federal government. Of those they reached out to, only 22 responded. Most said they did not disclose the donations because their annual receipts fell below the $250,000 threshold.
Rachelle Peterson, director of policy at the National Association of Scholars, called the lack of accountability “alarming” and said the $250,000 limit is “much too high of a threshold.”
“Gifts of money at much smaller amounts can be very swaying over a college or university, especially the humanities (departments) which traditionally have lower funding,” she said.