Private Equity Tycoon Gives $100 Million to Establish China Scholarship Fund

Private Equity Tycoon Gives $100 Million to Establish China Scholarship Fund

Private equity tycoon Stephen A. Schwarzman has announced a $100 million gift to Tsinghua University in Beijing to establish a $300 million scholarship program for students from around the world, the Associated Press reports.

The largest gift from a foreign philanthropist in China's history will help endow the Schwarzman Scholars program, which is being launched jointly by the university and the founder and chair of private equity firm Blackstone. The program will enable two hundred college graduates a year — 45 percent from the United States, 20 percent from China, and the rest from Europe, South Korea, Japan, India, and other countries — to attend a one-year master's program at Tsinghua in either public policy, economics and business, international relations, or engineering. The first class of Schwarzman Scholars is expected to matriculate in 2016, after construction on Schwarzman College, a residential building designed specifically for the program, has been completed.

Of the remaining $200 million for the program, $100 million already has been raised from private donors, Schwarzman told the AP. The program's advisory board includes such global luminaries as former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, former British prime minister Tony Blair, former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, and former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, and former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice. The program will be jointly governed by the Schwarzman Education Foundation and Tsinghua University. A handful of multinational corporations, including BP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Boeing, GE, JPMorgan Chase, Caterpillar, Credit Suisse, and Deloitte, as well as Bloomberg Philanthropies, also have signed on as donors to the program.

"China is no longer an elective course, it's core curriculum," said Schwarzman. "For future geopolitical stability and global prosperity, we need to build a culture of greater trust and understanding between China, America, and the rest of the world."