Tycoon's son gives GBP6m to UK university

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am


A Hong Kong businessman has made a record donation of GBP6 million (HK$73.7 million) to King's College London to foster research into Chinese affairs.

Dr Lau Ming-wai, eldest son of property tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung, made the donation to fund the appointment of senior academic staff members at the China Institute, which will be renamed the Lau China Institute.

John Major, former British prime minister and King's College London campaign chairman, said: 'The institute will foster important links between the UK and China, not just in academic circles, but in the fields of government, science, the arts and business.'

Lau Ming-wai, vice-chairman of Chinese Estate Holdings, has a Bachelor of Laws and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from King's. He is deputy secretary general of policy support on Henry Tang Ying-yen's chief executive election campaign team, while his father is a member of the 1,200-strong Election Committee that will select the next chief executive.

Lau said his extensive studies at King's were instrumental in helping him achieve his career goals.

'I want to offer - as a symbol of my gratitude - financial support to the China Institute as a way of supporting Hong Kong and China's next generation of academics, leaders and entrepreneurs,' he said.

'I believe in what the King's China Institute is trying to achieve; promoting an exchange of ideas between the West and China, as well as supporting research into the economic, political and cultural ideology behind China's current prominence on the world stage.'

Lau is a published scholar, having written The Economic Structure of Trusts: Towards a Property-based Approach, published by Oxford University Press.

King's College London has more than 1,400 alumni from China, including Hong Kong, working in the legal, finance, management, education and health sectors. The King's China Institute opened in 2008 in London. It is part of an initiative at the university to create a network of global institutes, to promote the study of 21st-century world powers.