The report did not identify which universities were connected to those entities. Since coming under federal scrutiny, the 12 schools disclosed a combined $6.5 billion in foreign funding that was previously unreported, the department said.
The Association of American Universities, which represents research universities, said the report is “less a serious security assessment than it is a partisan and politically driven attack on America’s leading research universities.”
“While the Department of Education purports to be concerned about threats, it has consistently failed to respond to repeated requests for clarity, transparency, and guidelines,” the group said in a statement.
Some universities had previously acknowledged errors in reporting and sought to correct them. Yale said it failed to submit foreign funding reports for the years 2014 to 2017 but later corrected the omission.
The department said its review is ongoing and that it is still gathering information from universities.
In announcing the report, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said her agency uncovered “pervasive noncompliance” from universities that have “significant foreign entanglement.” “For decades enforcement was lax, but not anymore,” she said. “We took action to make sure the public is afforded the transparency the law requires.”