Education Department Shuts Down Foreign Funds Database

National Association of Scholars

Last week, the Department of Education (ED) suddenly shut down its interactive database on foreign funds to universities due to a "contract change." The ED gave the public a mere two-day notice before closing the portal on June 28. The announcement does not specify the purpose of the contract change. The National Association of Scholars even asked the ED for further information, only to receive a generic response on federal student aid. 

Americans are concerned about foreign influence from China and Qatar. Our investigations further show that universities continue to skirt foreign disclosure laws. The ED should work to make this information easily available to the public. We ask that the ED provide a clearer explanation for decommissioning the portal. We also urge the ED to reconsider bringing back the interactive database. 

Although the ED has kept spreadsheets of this data available on its website, the portal allowed the public to quickly search for the information they needed. The ED should make the portal more user-friendly rather than eliminating it altogether. 

For too long, universities have avoided accountability on the foreign funds they have received. The database serves as a crucial tool for the public to quickly see which countries are vying for influence at our universities. 


Photo by MozZz on Adobe Stock

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