All undergraduates enrolling at southern China’s Shantou University in the next four years will receive full scholarships, in an unprecedented move by Hong Kong billionaire and Hutchison Whampoa founder, Li Ka-shing.
The Li Ka Shing Foundation, backed by Li, will provide up to 100 million yuan ($14.44 million) a year in scholarships from 2019 to 2022, enough to cover annual tuition for every undergraduate student enrolling each year. The university told Caixin it plans to take in 3,100 undergraduates in 2019, and that annual tuition ranges from around 5,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan.
Li, who recently retired as chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings, was born in the 1920s in Chaoshan, the area of Guangdong province where Shantou University is located. Li has been offering the university financial support since the 1980s, when the higher education institution was established, and his foundation accounted for 40% of the university’s revenue in 2017, the university said.
According to Forbes Magazine, Li-Ka Shing is the richest man in Hong Kong with a fortune estimated at $29.8 billion. His Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate has more than 320,000 employees and operates in more than 50 nations.