September 18, 2019

Education Department Investigating Qatari Funding of Two Universities

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The Department of Education (ED) is investigating Qatari and other foreign sources of funding to Georgetown University and Texas A&M University, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The ED sent letters to the aforementioned universities on June 13 alleging that neither university has fully disclosed their funding from Qatar, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. According to the AP, the Qatar Foundation, a nonprofit with connections to the Qatari government, provided $33 million to Georgetown in 2018 and $6.1 million to Texas A&M in 2018, the entirety of Texas A&M’s foreign funding. Georgetown received $36 million in foreign funding in 2018.

Overall, Georgetown has received more than $415 million in foreign funding since 2012 and Texas A&M has received $285 million since 2014.

The AP report notes that U.S. colleges and universities are required by law to report all foreign sources of funding of $250,000 or more; if Georgetown and Texas A&M did not fully disclose these foreign sources of funding, they “could face legal action and financial penalties,” per the AP.

Both universities told the AP that they are cooperating with the investigation and they take such matters seriously.

Security Studies Group Senior Vice President David Reaboi wrote in the cover story for the Journal’s May 24 issue that Qatar funnels money toward American universities to garner support for the Qatari regime. The Qatar Foundation, which Reaboi describes as being “like Al Jazeera” in how it’s used for the Qataris “to project soft power,” provided “hundreds of millions of dollars” to Georgetown, Texas A&M, Cornell, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Qatar’s adventurism greatly imperils the security of Israel as well as the United States,” Reaboi wrote. “The emirate undermines the stability of its Arab neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; it promotes Islamists in vulnerable, Western-open societies; and it diplomatically and financially supports violent terrorist groups such as Hamas, al-Qaida and the Taliban.”