Stanley Ho

Stanley Ho donates HK$39m to Oxford to boost Chinese studies

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2007, 12:00am


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Tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun has donated GBP2.5 million (HK$39 million) to Britain's University of Oxford for Chinese history studies.

One of the largest single donations from Hong Kong to the university, the endowment will support the establishment of a lectureship and junior research fellowship at Pembroke College. Money will also be spent on enhancing materials for Chinese studies in the college.

The donation follows one of GBP2 million to the university's global health research networks by Li Ka-shing last month.

Mr Ho said at a reception yesterday that he was keen to see greater intellectual engagement between China and Britain - especially with Oxford. 'I always remind the younger generation of the importance of education,' he said. 'It's knowledge that's your lifelong companion, not wealth. I repeat, not wealth.'

Oxford vice-chancellor John Hood said the university was aspiring to step up the level of academic activities markedly in Chinese studies.

'We're looking to find more backing to support our China strategy. China is very, very important for the University of Oxford.'

Dr Hood said both the undergraduate and masters programmes in Chinese studies were 'hugely oversubscribed'.

'The undergraduate programme has one of the highest entry standards of any undergraduate programme in the university. And if you talk to the students in the university, they will probably almost uniformly say it is the one that requires the most work as well.'

He added that a development office would be set up in Hong Kong to maintain better contact with the alumni.

Giles Henderson, master of Pembroke College, said his college placed great emphasis on developing Oriental studies, and it was seeking funding for lectureship in management, with expertise in Chinese business.

Oxford and China have long and deep links. The Bodleian Library, the university's main research and copyright deposit library, received its first Chinese book in 1604. Oxford received its first Chinese visitor, Shen Fuzong, in 1687.