ll undergraduates who enroll at Shantou University in Guangdong province over the next four years will be going to school for free thanks to a donation plan from Hong Kong’s richest man.
From 2019 to 2022, the Li Ka-shing Foundation will be providing up to 100 million yuan ($14.4 million) annually to the university in order to fully cover the tuition fees of every undergrad enrolling each year, the school announced on Sunday.
Shantou Univerisity was founded in 1981 by Li Ka-shing who was born just north of the area 53 years before to an impoverished family. For decades, his foundation has provided a good chunk of the school’s funding.
Li’s family fled war-torn mainland China for Hong Kong when he was a child. Starting from nothing, he went on to amass one of Asia’s largest fortunes while building a diverse portfolio of real estate, financial services, retail, and utilities.
Bloomberg currently estimates Li’s net worth at $30.1 billion, making him the world’s 29th richest person.
Li retired last March at the age of 90, handing over his business empire to his son. He said that he planned to keep busy by devoting his time and energy towards philanthropy.
Last year, he made his “farewell speech” at the Shantou University graduation ceremony, telling the graduates:
“Empathy and generosity are a choice. It brings you joy and a sense of fulfillment. It unites us to achieve a bigger dream.”