The Hanqing International Education Foundation agreed this week to offer $8 million in scholarships to Chinese students at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology.

The agreement, which is valid for 20 years, was signed in the presence of Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, Technion president Peretz Lavie, donor Chinese businessman Zhao Hanqing and Handan Mayor Hui Jian, from the donor’s birthplace.

In the initial phase, students pursuing masters and PhD degrees will be selected to receive annual scholarships and financial support in the amount of $35,000, to cover all of their expenses. The fund will support five new students each year, and expects to support 25 students in five years.

An executive council with six members, three of whom will be from the Technion and three from the foundation, will oversee the operations.

Lavie called the initiative “a historic agreement” and thanked Zhao Hanqing for his “generous gift.”

“The Technion played a fundamental role in the development of Israel, and I am certain that Chinese students studying here at the Technion will learn valuable tools and skills that will help them in advancing the development of their country,” Lavie said.

Hui Jian stressed that “this agreement is the beginning of a greater cooperation between the cities of Haifa and Handan, and between China and Israel.” He added that Handan, which has some 10 million inhabitants, intends to undergo “an industrial transformation,” and he views the Chinese students who will study at the Technion as “the future leaders of this process.”

Chinese Ambassador Gao Yanping spoke last week at the Technion about the growing technological cooperation between the two countries and the potential for academic cooperation between the Technion and China.

“The enrollment period for the summer term at Chinese universities has recently come to a close,” she said.

“Out of 9 million candidates, 7 million were accepted."

“The Technion is a world-class technological institution,” she added. “If I was able to turn back time, I would have liked to have been a student here.”

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