Alarm raised over China’s influence in higher education

In an exclusive interview, Australia's first ambassador to China has raised the alarm about China's influence in the higher education sector, writes Hagar Cohen for Background Briefing.

Stephen FitzGerald singled out Bob Carr's Australia-China Relations Institute, or ACRI, for particular criticism, saying universities need clear firewalls between donations and research. ACRI, part of the University of Technology Sydney, was established with a large donation from the Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo, who was the donor at the centre of the controversy surrounding Labor senator Sam Dastyari.

"I wouldn't have taken the funding," FitzGerald told Background Briefing. "This is one of the really difficult issues about what is happening at the moment, because you don't want to say no to all Chinese money… That would be ridiculous, self-defeating, but you have to put firewalls between the donation and the way it is spent, and you have to be certain about the origins of that money."
Full report on the ABC News site