Being more pro-active about compliance is a challenge for universities

Henrica Westhoeve
July 13, 2023 - Reading Time 2 minutes

In recent years, Dutch universities have been frequently in the news. From the possible influence of the Chinese government within universities to the CSC grants that Chinese students were given if only they would share their research results with the Chinese embassy. It was time to establish a framework for the purpose of knowledge security. Not just because of Chinese influence, but because international collaboration and research always carries certain risks. How to address this? Due diligence. 

An institute and a company

Universities are bodies that must abide by the average laws and regulations, however, universities occupy a special place within society and appropriate rules belong with them. The Association of Universities (VSNU) has a document called Kader Kennisveiligheid Universiteiten to deal more consciously with knowledge security risks.

First and foremost, all universities must be compliant with current laws and regulations. This includes, for example, the Sanctions Act. Universities (as well as other Dutch organizations) are not allowed to do business with sanctioned countries, organizations, universities and individuals. Sanctions lists are public, but sanctioned companies are often king in hiding. As a result, it is often not immediately visible whether a company or person is sanctioned.

See: Easy due diligence research with indueD

Due diligence

Due diligence is of great importance for knowledge security of universities, but also reputation, scientific integrity and finances. When entering into a new collaboration, the VSNU strongly recommends doing proper due diligence before deciding on the collaboration. Actually, this is a kind of Know Your Customer/Supplier process. The VSNU gives two natural moments for looking at this type of collaboration. Namely, when entering into a new collaboration, and when renewing an existing collaboration. This periodic "review" is of course nice, but proactive monitoring is even more important.

indueD is a compliance platform that helps find out if a person, country or organization is sanctioned. Where sanctioned companies like to hide, indueD can easily find them. Proactive monitoring can also be done for you by indueD. Does something change in a sanctions list? Or is a company you work with being bought by a sanctioned country or person? If so, you will be notified automatically. Wondering what we can do for your university or organization? Feel free to contact us.


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