Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, pledged 100m Chinese yuan per year to fund the tuition fees for the incoming class of 2019 at Shantou University, located in the Guangdong province of China. This will be done through his charitable foundation called the Li Ka-Shing Foundation. The 90-year old Li is worth $30.4bn according to Forbes.
A similar move to fund an entire university class was made by US billionaire Robert F Smith, who pledged to pay the loans of a US college class. The Li Ka-Shing Foundation aims to cover the incoming class of 2019’s undergraduate tuition fees for four to five years.
“The Foundation hopes this scheme can alleviate financial burdens for families and encourage the pursuit of personal interests and further learning to better prepare graduates for the challenges of an increasingly complex global economy,” the foundation said in a statement.
Li’s life story involves him starting work by sweeping factory floors as a young boy. Today, he currently ranks 28th on the Forbes rich list. He handed his empire to his eldest son Victor Li when he retired last year. CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings operate in the retail, telecoms, and power sectors. Mr Li was one of the first to invest in mainland China as an individual from Hong Kong, and was knighted by the UK in 2000, earning the nickname “Superman” due to his business and investment success.