Proposed legislation in the UK would require English universities to disclose funding from certain foreign sources, the Financial Times reports. It adds that failure to do so could then lead to fines.
The proposed law, it says, is being presented as part of a package on freedom of speech, with proponents of the legislation arguing that universities must actively protect free speech and academic freedoms. "It is right that we are taking new action to protect our universities from undue foreign influences that work against British values," Michelle Donelan, minister for higher and further education, tells FT.
It adds that the proposed legislation comes on the heels of increasing concerns about funding universities have received from China and what influence that might have on education, and as the Department of Education says that some individuals have felt unable to express their opinions. The FT notes that university groups say academic freedom is "central to the work of universities" but are seeking clarification on thresholds and other aspects of the proposed legislation.