Named and shamed: The unis who accept millions in donations from dictatorships

LSE accepted a £1.5m gift from Colonel Gaddafi’s son


Some British universities have accepted up to £75 million in donations from foreign dictatorships, who are known for poor human rights and terrorism.

In an investigation by The Telegraph, leading British universities including Exeter and Edinburgh, have been found to accept millions from authoritarian regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Kuwait prime minister, who stepped down for corruption charges, provided £2.5 million to Durham University. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia funded Edinburgh University £8 million for an Islamic Centre.

LSE accepted a gift of £1.5 million from Colonel Gaddafi's son, who was a former student at the university.

Exeter accepted £8m in donations from UAE dictatorships

Exeter accepted £8m in donations from UAE dictatorships

Universities have been accused by some MPs for allowing the donations, which they claim allow Middle Eastern dictatorships to influence the UK's higher education. Human Rights Watch have also emphasised regimes funnel British universities with cash as a way to cover up their human rights violations.

Top university Oxford have accepted £123 million from dictatorships, including £43m from Wafic Said, a Syrian-born financier, for the Said Business School.

Exeter University have received £8 million from the ruler of Sharjah in the UAE, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, who was described as “the university’s single most important supporter".

Robert Halfon MP, the new education select committee chair, told the Telegraph: “It should be from democratic countries in my view. I’d rather they looked at democratic countries as opposed to dictatorships or countries with questionable human rights records."

A Russell Group spokesman said: “Philanthropy plays an important role in enabling the UK’s higher education sector to deliver world-class research and teaching. Maintaining academic independence is paramount and our universities have established policies in place for considering donations.”