Alleging schools across the country are accepting funds from hostile foreign governments and their companies, the Department of Education is investigating Ivy League schools Harvard and Yale, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The schools received a request of records of gifts or contacts from China, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and the universities are working on their response, according to the report.
The department has alleged $6.5 billion in foreign funding has gone unreported, operating as "multi-billion dollar, multi-national enterprises using opaque foundations, foreign campuses, and other sophisticated legal structures to generate revenue," per the Journal.
"The fact that $6.5 billion in foreign gifts to U.S. institutions went unreported until now is shocking and unacceptable," Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ranking Member Tom Carper, D-Del., wrote in a statement to the Journal.
"We are pleased that the Department of Education is increasing enforcement efforts and taking a step toward ensuring academic freedom in America."
The statute requiring reporting of foreign funding worth $250,000 or more in a calendar year has been in place for decades, but the U.S. is only now looking for enforce it, according to the report.
Department of Education documents claim hostile foreign powers give money to colleges and universities to potentially steal research and "spread propaganda benefiting foreign governments," and "such money apparently does not reduce or otherwise offset American students' tuition costs," the Journal reported.
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