By DIDI TANG
BEIJING (AP) _ The founder of the U.S. private equity firm Blackstone announced Sunday the establishment of a $300 million scholarship program in China for postgraduates from around the world.
The money being raised by Stephen A. Schwarzman will be the largest philanthropic gift with foreign money in China’s history, according to the tycoon and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, which will host the program.
Schwarzman will make a personal gift of $100 million and plans to raise another $200 million to establish a postgraduate program for foreign students that will aim to rival the Rhodes scholarships, which bring dozens of foreign students to Oxford University with the aim of producing outstanding leaders. Already, $100 million has been raised in the last six months, Schwarzman said.
The fund will allow 200 students to take part in a one-year master’s program in public policy, economics, business and international relations at the university each year starting in 2016. Schwarzman said 45 percent of the students would come from the United States, 20 percent from China and the rest from other parts of the world.
To underscore the importance of the Schwarzman Scholars’ program and China’s importance in future world leadership, both President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping sent congratulatory letters, which were read out at the announcement ceremony at Tsinghua University.
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By DIDI TANG