Skip to main content

Universities: Gifts and Endowments

Question for Department for Education

UIN 27602, tabled on 29 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on universities accepting donations from overseas (a) organisations and (b) individuals.

Answered on

20 July 2022

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

Universities are autonomous and will have their own fundraising and gift acceptance policies in place. University due diligence processes should consider reputational, ethical and security risks.

The security guidelines commissioned by the government and published by Universities UK in October 2020, ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security-related issues’, advises universities on engaging in secure international collaborations. This includes a recommendation that due diligence be conducted on all international partnerships.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will address concerns about the possible influence of overseas money in English higher education (HE), without reducing the ability of our world class universities to work with global partners. New measures set out in the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will require HE providers in England to report to the Office for Students (OfS) any relevant overseas funding received by the HE provider, a constituent institution, or a member or member of staff of the provider or constituent institution (in their capacity as such).

These measures will help the OfS understand the possible impact of overseas income on freedom of speech and academic freedom, and monitor any trends and patterns of concern.