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Gosar Introduces Higher Education Transparency Act

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement after introducing the Higher Education Transparency Act. This legislation mandates complete transparency to expose Confucius Institutes and other foreign influence programs on college campuses disguised as cultural and language programs.

“Institutions of higher education (IHEs) are the stepping stone for the development of the minds of the future leaders of America. It is important that colleges and universities are a place for the robust debate of ideas and absent of foreign influences, including those with ties to communist regimes.

Unfortunately, foreign entities disguising themselves as cultural education institutions raise many concerns about academic freedom and autonomy on our public universities. In particular, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) funded Confucius Institutes operate on dozens of campuses across the United States and serve as a platform to advance China’s political agenda by allowing it to export its state censorship, control academic staff, choose curriculum, and restrict free speech and debate in college classrooms.

I am pleased to introduce this legislation requiring American universities to be transparent about any agreement they have with foreign entities, including Confucius Institutes, which are seeking to leverage influence on American college campuses. Students educated at our colleges and universities deserve transparency when making choices about the institution they plan to attend and classes they wish to take,” said Congressman Gosar

Original Cosponsors: Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05), Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05), Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17), Rep. Pat Fallon (TX-04)


When the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations commenced a study on China’s impact on our education system, it found that “foreign government spending on U.S. schools is effectively a black hole, as there is a lack of reporting detailing the various sources of foreign government funding.” In fact, the Department of Education found that over $6 billion in gifts and contracts from China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates went unreported from various American IHEs in violation of the Higher Education Act.

Taking gifts and entering into contracts with foreign entities is not illegal, but avoiding reporting requirements is, which undermines transparency and academic freedom. These gaps are also routinely exploited by foreign nations which are averse to American values and seek to influence the way America views the world. The Higher Education Transparency Act addresses these gaps by requiring that IHEs post online the full content of any agreement between the IHE and a foreign source that provides language and cultural teaching resources and services to its students.

This reporting requirement allows American students to gain a complete picture of the institutions they wish to study at and will also transparently show how foreign nations are pushing this specific form of influence. Studying history, culture, and heritage is essential for an informed democratic electorate and for our future leadership. Academic freedom should never be undermined by foreign malign influences, and when gaps in current law allow this to occur, the government must work to preserve these basic freedoms.

For years, foreign governments who are global competitors to the U.S., and who do not share American values of freedom, tolerance and open discourse, have essentially bribed major universities with rich programs that often undermine our own government and culture. The extent and duration of these Trojan horse influencers should be made transparent to the public, and the Higher Transparency Education Act does just that.