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Stephen Schwarzman establishes a $300 million endowed scholarship program in China

Taking some time out for running one of the U.S’s most active private equity businesses,   Schwarzman attended a ceremony in Beijing to announce the establishment of an international study program to be base which he will sponsor.

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Stephen Schwarzman / Getty

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/ By Albert Hecht /

Stephen Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the private equity firm Blackstone recently announced his intention to establish a scholarship program, with the intention of seeing it grow to a level that would reach the same renowned level of the Rhodes Scholarships. To get the Schwarzman Scholars program underway, Schwarzman has promised not only to donate the first $100 million but additionally to give a personal undertaking to raise another $200 million from friends and colleagues to complete the first stage of the endowment program.

Schwarzman’s gift to the hosting university, the Tsinghua in China’s capital city, Beijing has been cited as being the largest single philanthropic gift ever given to the country in its long history.

A spokesperson for the Tsinghua University projected that the scholarship fund would provide would provide an opportunity for young and gifted students to study the advanced sciences in a top level, internationally oriented learning environment. “Many of the students who will be awarded scholarships as part of the Schwarzman Scholars program are likely to be drawn from the World’s developing nations, and will be able to take full advantage of the facilities provided by the university, but also soon to be announced immigration reforms designed to simplify the issue of student visas so that the World’s most talented youth can develop their talents in China as well as possibly put them to put to work in the country” the University spokesperson summed up.

When announcing his decision to augment the scholarship program, Schwarzman predicted that as China’s rapid economic growth and rising global influence continues to play an increasingly active part in defining the economic and technological development of the 21st century, then it seems fitting that development of talented young people in the country should be encouraged and developed .

Just as U.S. ties to Europe were strengthened in the 20th century, thanks to the development of Oxford University’s Rhodes Scholarship program which produced some outstanding global leaders.” Schwarzman pointed out ““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.”

Tsinghua University has produced many of China’s senior leaders, including the country’s President Xi Jinping as well as his predecessor, President Hu Jintao.

The Schwarzman Scholars program is intended for 200 students to participate in a one-year master’s program each year to be held at the Tsinghua University, The program will in public policy, economics and business, international relations or engineering. The scholarship program, due to get underway in 2016, has been apportioned to cover 90 students from the United States, 80 from China with the remainder drawn from all over the world. The scholarship fund will cover every aspect of the student’s fees as well as their expenses for the year.

At a ceremony to launch the fund that took place in the Great Hall of People in Beijing, Schwarzman pointed out that apart from his own $100 million undertaking, the same sum had already been raised from private donors during the last six months

Congratulatory letters, both from US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping were read out at the ceremony, while Vice Premier Liu Yandong was in attendance and made a speech.



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