UK lawmakers warn of ‘alarming evidence’ of Chinese meddling on university campuses

The United Kingdom is the latest country to warn of potential meddling by Chinese authorities in the education system, after years of universities aggressively targeting students from China — who pay significantly more than British or European students.
“Despite the fact that there are now over 100,000 Chinese students in the UK, the issue of Chinese influence has been the subject of remarkably little debate compared to that in Australia, New Zealand and the US,” a report from the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said this week.

CNN is seeking comment from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding allegations in the report.

The UK is one of the most popular overseas destinations for Chinese students, along with the US, Australia and Canada, according to a recent survey, and multiple British universities — including Liverpool and Nottingham — have set up partnerships or other close relationships with Chinese colleges.

These partnerships — which are both economic and academic — as well as the huge financial benefit Chinese students bring, make British universities vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese government, warned the House of Commons report.

“Universities have a strong incentive to establish overseas partnerships to secure funding and enhance collaboration on research projects, but this should be balanced with potential risks to academic freedom,” lawmakers said.

Multiple British academics are quoted in the report giving examples of Chinese…

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