National Security Institute Publishes New Backgrounder: “China’s Influence in U.S. Higher Education”

April 14, 2021
Contact: Emma Hamilton

National Security Institute Publishes New Backgrounder:
“China’s Influence in U.S. Higher Education”

Arlington, VA –  The National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School publishes its latest NSI Backgrounder, “China’s Influence in U.S. Higher Education,” by NSI Visiting Fellow Daniel G. Currell. As China seeks to take advantage – often through improper means – of American universities in order to advance its own economy, scientific achievement, military prowess, and international standing, this NSI Backgrounder highlights why policymakers and the public should be concerned about China’s growing influence, in particular, it:

  • Summarizes China’s goals as they relate to U.S. education;
  • Details China’s tactics to achieve those goals;
  • Identifies key items to watch in the future; and
  • Suggests additional reading materials.

“Universities in the U.S. and other Five Eyes countries have been critical to China’s success over the last 30 years.  This has greatly benefited the people of China and arguably people everywhere. But these relationships have also allowed China to build a world-class military, an AI-enabled surveillance state, and a variety of technology companies that compete, sometimes unfairly, with critical industries in other countries,” said author Daniel G. Currell.  “The U.S. needs to conduct an across-the-board assessment of the risks and benefits of university collaboration with PRC entities, particularly where national security or human rights issues are directly implicated,” he added.
“American universities are a critical national advantage and serve as magnets globally for talent and research,”  said John Lipsey, Director of Policy at the National Security Institute. “In this NSI Backgrounder, Dan Currell provides a concise and insightful foundation for policymakers seeking to understand how China influences U.S. educational institutions to pursue its economic and strategic ambitions” Lipsey added.
The paper is available here.

Daniel G. Currell’s bio can be found here.
About the National Security Institute

The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.
About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.
About the Scalia Law School

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.