AAU joined ACE and 20 higher education associations in a letter to Congress outlining priorities for provisions related to STEM education and scientific research and innovation in the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521) and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260). The letter also raises concerns about some provisions related to research security in the bills that would have “long-term, detrimental impacts on the ability of colleges and universities to work and compete with international partners to address issues of global importance.”
Among other things, the letter asks Congress to include robust authorization levels for federal research agencies to increase competitiveness; strike the proposed CFIUS requirement to review gifts and contracts to institutions of higher education; improve institutional reporting of foreign gifts; support workforce development programs; reauthorize the Department of Education Title VI international educational programs; and adopt certain STEM immigration provisions.
The letter also urges Congress to fund the “increased research and STEM education authorization levels” contained in the legislation with matching appropriations. “Our nation achieved its status as the global science and innovation leader due in significant part to decades of sustained federal research and education investments,” the letter notes. “We applaud Congress for taking up this important legislation and urge you to reach a bipartisan agreement,” it states.