China inaugurates first private research-oriented university

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/20 14:31:00

China's first private research-oriented university Westlake University, which is backed by some of the country's biggest business tycoons, was officially inaugurated on Saturday morning in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, according to media reports.

Westlake University is the first research-oriented university funded by private sources and supported by the Chinese government in the country, domestic news website reported on Saturday.

The non-profit institution was launched by a slew of prominent academia in the country and funded by high-profile business executives, including Tencent Holdings Ltd Chairman Pony Ma Huateng and Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, according to information on the school's website.

Headed by Shi Yigong, a biologist and former vice president of the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, Westlake will be dedicated to the study of natural science and engineering, with world-class environment and state-of-the-art research facility.

Construction for the university started in April and is expected to be completed by 2021.Total investment for the project is estimated at 3.68 billion yuan ($585 million), according to media reports.

The opening of Westlake University also comes as Chinese business leaders are throwing their support behind the country's education sector. 

Several other Chinese business leaders, including Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma Yun and Lenovo Group founder Liu Chuanzhi, have also jointly started a non-profit institution - Hupan University in Zhejiang.

The university was inaugurated in March 2015. Ma Yun, who announced his retirement from Alibaba in September to focus on charity work, including in education, was the university's first president.

Global Times

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