DeSantis Signs Bill Preventing Universities From Having Partnerships With China

According to a new rule, public schools and colleges in Florida are not allowed to work with China (or other nations of concern) or take grants from them.

No Funding From China

This legislation comes in response to Betsy DeVos’s fears that Chinese funding is pouring into America’s higher education system.

Florida’s public colleges and universities will no longer be allowed to accept grants from or engage in “partnerships or agreements” with China or any alternative country of concern without first obtaining approval under a new law that Governor DeSantis signed.

The legislation, S.B. 846, describes a “partnership” very clearly.

This means a department or learner exchange program, a study overseas program, an articulation course, a recruiting initiative, or a dual degree system. An “agreement” means a penned declaration of common interest in scholarly or research collaboration.

The list of “countries of concern” includes Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Iran.

Colleges and universities are required by the bill to demonstrate to the State Board of Education that carrying out business with any of the countries on that list is helpful to learners, the state college, and is not harmful to the well-being or security of the United States or its citizens.

If schools and universities break this law, money may be taken out and put into the General Revenue Fund.

The bill, which takes effect on July 1, also requires Florida’s two higher education institutions to submit an overview of grant programs, agreements, or contracts with foreign corporations by December 2024 to legislators and the governor’s office.

Schools Must Provide Reports

According to the statute, this report must contain information showing any grant program, agreement, partnership, or contract between a state university or college.

Any college or university from a Foreign Country of Concern, or with a Foreign Principal is required to be submitted.