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I have come across a sentence where "being" was used instead of "are". Here it goes:

what they say is that the compelling government interest was to ensure diversity in university admissions. This is true in general and as long as we can imagine there being universities the state has an interest in seeing that their classes represent diverse viewpoints.

Is that correct to use "being" instead of the "be" verb forms?

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Actually, I don't believe the sentence to be grammatical, but the problem is not "being."

"As long as we can imagine there being universities in which the state has an interest in seeing that their classes represent diverse viewpoints" is grammatical, not what is presented. The "in which" or some similar connection between the clauses is necessary.

As pointed out by Dronz, even if the sentence were made grammatical, it would still be convoluted, wordy, and obscure. What is meant seems to be something like:

"This is true only with respect to those universities, if any, in which the state has a compelling interest in ensuring that classes contain students with diverse viewpoints."

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"Being" is correct, but "are" would also work, and would be simpler.

I think the intention is probably to emphasize the point is the hypothetical existence, but the sentence seems rather convoluted and cumbersome to me, especially the construction "This is true in general and as long as we imagine [bla bla bla] that [bla bla bla], but not strictly grammatically incorrect.

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