Penn and Harvard Receive $19.7 Million from Qatar and Saudi Arabia

( – Last week, the presidents of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania testified before the House about the current spike in antisemitism on campus. According to a report in the Washington Examiner, both Ivy League schools have received millions in donations from entities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia over the past two years.

Based on data from the US Department of Education, Harvard and Penn received a total of $19,772,237 from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, including from the countries’ governments.

Under federal law, any US college or university that receives foreign donations exceeding $250,000 must disclose the donations to the Department of Education.

A review of the self-reported disclosures by the Washington Examiner found that Saudi entities donated a combined $13,442,954 to Harvard and Penn in 2022 and 2023. The bulk of the donations were received by Harvard, which pulled in $10,919,274 from Saudi Arabia in the last two years, including a donation of $2,208,928 from the Saudi government in June.

The University of Pennsylvania received $2,523,680 from Saudi Arabia in 2022 and 2023, including $1,247,323 from the Saudi government in February 2022.

Additionally, Harvard received $6,329,283 from the government of Qatar in 2022 and 2023, including $1,104,180 received in May 2023.

The University of Pennsylvania disclosed no donations exceeding $250,000 from the Kingdom of Qatar.

When universities self-report foreign donations to the Department of Education, they are not required to include details about what the donations were for or how the donations were used, therefore it is not clear how Harvard or Penn made use of the money.

A report from the Jewish Virtual Library released in May analyzed 10,000 Middle Eastern donations to US colleges and universities and found that only three were explicitly designated as political. For example, in 2020, a Palestinian donated $643,000 to Brown University to fund a professorship in Palestinian Studies.

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