Chinese Donors Step Up Giving to American Universities

A $115 million donation to California Institute of Technology or Caltech in the United States from Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao and his wife Chrissy Luo tops a generous year for donations to international education and research institutions from Chinese philanthropists. The latest gift announced on 8 December will fund creation of an Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech which will be named after the donors and designed to foster interdisciplinary faculty collaboration between the university's academic departments, including neuroscience, engineering, computer science and social science. This is an article from University World News, an online publication that covers global higher education. It is presented here under an agreement with The Chronicle. Chen, chairman of China’s Shanda Group, was once described as China’s richest man as his online gaming company transformed into a global private investment company. He said the couple’s involvement in the internet and entertainment industries allowed them to “witness the ability for technology advancements to influence human perception, as well as to observe the resultant meaningful effects on human behaviour”. He said: "We believe uncovering how the brain perceives, interprets and interacts with the world is pivotal in so many aspects. It can shape groundbreaking industries such as artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality. It also plays a critical role in addressing social issues such as ageing and behavioural deficiencies.” The Caltech donation is just the start. Chen and Luo, who are now based in Singapore, say they will be donating $1 billion on brain discovery, research and development. 2016 donations Other donations from Chinese philanthropists this year include a $30 million gift to Yale Law School from the Tsai family in honour of the late Paul Tsai, a Yale Law School alumnus from Taiwan, to benefit the Law School’s China Center which also contributes to research on US-China relations. In May, Chen Yidan, co-founder of China’s Tencent media and investment company, announced a $7.6 million annual award...

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