More than 200 United States universities received approximately $13 billion in “undocumented contributions from foreign governments” between 2014 and 2019, a new report claimed.
The Network Contagion Research Institute recently released a report titled, “The Corruption of the American Mind: How Concealed Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education Predicts Erosion of Democratic Values and Antisemitic Incidents on Campus.”
“Over 200 American colleges and universities illegally withheld information on approximately $13 billion in undocumented contributions from foreign governments, many of which are authoritarian,” the report revealed. The NCRI used information available in public reports to examine how the funding “correlated with a deterioration of liberal democratic norms around free speech and academic freedom, as well as antisemitism on campus.”
The most significant sum of undocumented funding, $2.7 billion, came from Qatar, the report found. England contributed $1.4 billion, China $1.2 billion, and Saudi Arabia $1.1 billion, according to NCRI’s analysis. Other countries that donated funds to American colleges included Bermuda, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, India, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. institutions that received the largest amounts of funding included Carnegie Mellon University with $1.47 billion, Cornell University with $1.29 billion, Harvard University with $894 million, and MIT with $859 million, the report claimed.
NCRI claimed that the foreign funding correlated with an increase in political campaigns that aimed to censor academics and a spike in anti-Semitic rhetoric on school campuses.
“A massive influx of foreign, concealed donations to American institutions of higher learning, much of it from authoritarian regimes with notable support from Middle Eastern sources, reflects or supports heightened levels of intolerance towards Jews, open inquiry, and free expression,” the report asserted. It claimed that the correlation between the funds and anti-Semitism was “stronger when the undocumented donors were Middle Eastern regimes.”
In a statement to the New York Post, Cornell University said it has received over $1.3 billion since 2012 to operate a medical school in Qatar.
Joel Malina, the vice president for university relations, stated, “We are proud of this collaboration that is helping to train much needed doctors to support patient care, biomedical research and overall quality of life. The remaining funding received supports medical and scientific research.”
The Post reported that the other schools mentioned in NCRI’s report did not respond to a request for comment.
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