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Hong Kong’s richest man will pay $14m in tuition fees for Chinese uni students

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing announces his retirement in Hong Kong, China March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, has pledged to pay off the student fees for an entire class of Chinese universities students - a move that will cost him a whopping 100 million yuan, or AU$14 millIon.

Ka-Shing will fund the students’ tuition through his charity, the Li Ka-Shing Foundation, for a full four to five years.

The Foundation said as a further testament to its “unchanging promise toward tertiary education in China”, it would partner with Shantou University to offer full-tuition (four to five years) academic scholarships for all enrolled undergraduates.

It would begin with the incoming class of 2019, and pledges an “annual commitment” of 100 million yuan.

“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.

The billionaire landed 28th on Forbes’ rich list this year, but retired from his business empire in 2018, and handed over the reins to his eldest son, Victor Li.

This follows a similar move from billionaire technology investor and prominent philanthropist, Robert F. Smith, who stunned students at a graduation ceremony in May by pledging to pay off all their student loans – around US$40 million altogether for the 400 students.

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