Gulf States fact of the day

Between them the six Gulf states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman — have provided $2.2bn to US universities since the beginning of 2012 to June this year, according to a Financial Times analysis of the US education department’s Foreign Gifts and Contracts Report. The Gulf total represents just under a quarter of all foreign gifts and contracts over that period. Qatar, the world’s richest state in per capita terms, led with $1.3bn, followed by Saudi Arabia with $580.5m and the UAE with $213m.

The figures include funding from state oil companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Qatar Petroleum, Gulf universities and cultural missions. Much of the money also goes to student fees — Riyadh funded about 110,000 US scholarships for Saudis between 2005 and 2015.

That is from Andrew England and Simeon Kerr in the FT.  On the list of recipients, Georgetown and Northwestern are the top two.


Rice U. got in on some Saudi money way back in the mid-1970s. Rice admitted a bunch of Saudi rich kids and had them come in early August for a few weeks of remedial classes, which was expected to be all they would need to get up to speed. Some administrative genius came up with a great idea that to further cross-cultural understanding, each Saudi should room with one of the only other group on campus in mid-summer, the football players.

That did not work out well.

LOL, good one SS. Clash of civilizations, cultures.

Bonus trivia: Filipino FIDE chess president Florencio Campomanes studied political science in Georgetown, DC from 1949 to 1954, as well as Brown University of RI, in addition to being of National Master strength. A Marcos crony, he was indicated and convicted of stealing Fide money but released on a technicality; it's widely believed he became wealthy from being president of FIDE. He was successful in raising, in the 1980s, $2M a match for the six world championship matches between Karpov and Kasparov; compare to today's about $1M match prize fund for the last world chess championship just concluded.

In addition, it had to have been humiliating for the Saudis to be dumber than the jocks on the football team.

GMU is also in top 5. Strange he didn't mention that.

There are a lot of things not mentioned here. It is one of the more interesting attractions of reading MR, to be honest. Almost as if nothing really changes at (certain parts of) GMU over a generation, generating a real feeling of nostalgia.

But to be equally honest, it is fairly obvious in the comment section that lots of commenters feel no need to read whatever Prof. Cowen links to.

Almost as if he expects it makes no difference if they fail an intellectual Turing test.

An ideological Turing test however, is distinctly important if you wish to receive any of that appealing Mercatus Center cash.

Pretty sure you missed the straussian reading.

'On the list of recipients, Georgetown and Northwestern are the top two.'

Proving that the Catholic Church and Methodists are a friend of the Islamic vision of taking over the West?

(Somehow, that just does not seem phrased crazily enough to pass Poe's Law scrutiny.)

Colleges love money far more than they love their founding creeds.

Meanwhile, Brazil gets ready to recognize Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Zionist Entity, no matter how many business it may cost US (Brazil is the biggest halal food producer in history). Some people are brave, some people are cowards.

The "Zionist Entity"? One has to start to wonder if the anti-Semite is in fact the true face of the troll showing through.

How van I be anti-Semite if I support President Captain's Bolsonaro's anti-Islam policies? Zionists are clearly the lesser evil.

Many of the most illustrious universities in the free world today were founded in medieval times by religious maniacs who endorsed burning at the stake and hanging, drawing and quartering. Saudi Arabia is a barbaric medieval state today, in a way, so it’s not completely unfitting that it might feel some affinity with certain elite Western universities.

Though not a single American university was founded in medieval times by religious maniacs who endorsed burning at the stake and hanging, drawing and quartering, it should be noted.

American universities are just motivated by the cash, something that someone like Prof. Cowen is undoubtedly even better informed about than most. At least if recent court documents from Fairfax County are any indication.

"Though not a single American university was founded in medieval times by religious maniacs who endorsed burning at the stake and hanging, drawing and quartering, it should be noted." I suppose that's been true since 1946, depending just how you define medieval.

Livin’ in the Penis Jungle. Swingin’ from the Penis trees. I’m just like Tarzan! If his dick was the size of a flea’s!

Corruption of elite colleges and universities closer to home: When a Wall Street banker or hedge fund billionaire contributes hundreds of millions to a college or university, does it affect the mission of the college or university? Indeed, elite colleges and universities depend on their endowments to pay their operating and other costs, endowments invested in financial instruments and other assets sold to them by Wall Street bankers and hedge fund billionaires (euphemistically called "alternative investments"). And in the world of rising costs at elite colleges and universities, rising asset prices are essential for maintaining elite status. Harvard has decided to take a brave stand and refuses to accept any more contributions from a murderer. MIT is considering a brave stand against accepting contributions from a murderer as well. As for donors making killings on Wall Street, these two pillars of independent academic thought aren't willing to commit suicide. As for economics, public choice theory is a popular economic theory among many economists, whose focus is mostly on irrational beliefs and irrational voters fostered by democracy: democracy subsidizes irrational beliefs with irrational policies including counterproductive public benefits. How does public choice theory apply to elite colleges and universities which are dependent on donations from Wall Street bankers, hedge fund owners, oil rich totalitarian kingdoms, and murderers? The article questions the endowments' alternative investment strategy given the high rate of returns during the recovery from plain vanilla stock and bond funds, but the endowments invest for the long term, in the ups and downs of the market, and it's in the down times that the alternative investments lift the performance of the endowments.

One has to wonder what the Gulf countries are buying for so much money.

Bit, atoms, innovation, stagnation, whatever...........yesterday, a passenger spaceship went into space and back =)

There are only 5 Gulf States: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Wakka wakka!

(All of which failed their re-education under Military Reconstruction.)

110,000 scholarships @ $2.2B = $20K per. Must be getting the bulk rate from both universities.

2.2 B was from 2012 to June 2018

$31,000 a year per kid. They're getting off cheap.

"Foreign Gifts and Contracts " Not sure if tuition falls under 'Contracts'

work from home


Multinationals also pour unlimited funds into academia, media, trade associations, think tanks, foundations, lobbying, and even directly into political campaigns.

Yet multinationals have fiduciary obligations to shareholders that trump any allegiance to any particular city, region, ordination, or ethical code.

George Mason also has a Confucius Institute, indeed the national headquarters for Confucius Institutes is at George Mason.

When academics define people concerned about the results of "free trade" as nationalists, Luddites and economic Neanderthals… Is there something more to the picture?

"Much of the money also goes to student fees — Riyadh funded about 110,000 US scholarships for Saudis"

I would call that a gift to the student, not a gift to the university.

Yeah yeah, incidence of the subsidy yadda yadda. But if the students were told "here's $20K that you can spend on your university education" and if 110,000 of them chose a US university (and hundreds of thousands of others chose universities in Britain, France, Singapore, or wherever) then the fact that the funds went to American universities is incidental; what the Saudis were doing is subsidizing their students.

Interesting that two leftist universities receive the most money.

800$ million came from Bermuda. I wonder how much of that was sheltered profits from Americans.

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