Chinese billionaire donates £5m to Oxford University for global health programmes

Chinese billionaire donates £5m to Oxford University for global health programmes

News (International, UK)

Hong Kong based Chinese billionaire businessman and K.B.E. Sir Ka-shing Li is donating £5m to Oxford University, which adds to the £800m already raised by the Oxford Thinking campaign, taking it closer to its £1.25bn target.

The donation from the Li Ka Shing Foundation will fund a series of partnerships, teaching and research projects including a training programme in infectious disease research at Shantou University, China, and opportunities for clinical scientists to undertake graduate degrees with Oxford University.

Last month, Philanthropy UK reported that $100m (£66m) had been raised for the James Martin 21st Century School at Oxford University in a matched funding appeal, as part of the Oxford Thinking campaign.

Matched funding is one of the strategies that has helped contributed to a rise in cash donations to universities according to the latest Ross-CASE Survey published this week.

Sir Ka-shing Li, who was honoured in 2000 for his services to British business and medical research, said, “It is encouraging to see that the global health programme has facilitated so many partnerships between Oxford and Asia, and has achieved significant developments over the past few years. New diseases emerge and evolve all the time and only by global collaboration can we respond promptly to these health threats. It is on such partnerships that our future depends.”

This work builds on the success of the Li Ka Shing-University of Oxford Global Health Programme, which was set up with a £2m donation in 2007 from the Li Ka Shing Foundation. The programme has resulted in new collaborations between researchers in Asia and Oxford, scholarships for Asian students to study for an MSc in Global Health Sciences, and teaching programmes in infectious disease at Shantou University.

Established in 1980, the Li Ka Shing Foundation reflects Sir Ka-shing Li's belief that a culture of giving is crucial to the well-being of society. The foundation has two major concerns, healthcare and education.

Sir Ka-shing Li, now in his eighties, founded his own plastics company, Cheung Kong Industries, in the 1950s. Today, Cheung Kong Holdings is a vastly diversified business operating in 54 countries and employing more than 240,000 staff.

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