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The philanthropic legacy of Sir Run Run Shaw (Part Two)

Grassroots Endowment vs. Elite Endowment:

Traditionally, the higher a university ranks in a national or global university ranking, the more private and public funding it is likely to receive. This approach could help a country to focus most of the resources on creating world-class education institutions. But second or third tier education institutions with the potential to drive the local economy, create local jobs and bridge the gaps between different regions may not be attractive enough to private endowment.

Shaw gave funding to top Chinese universities, but also to more average ones. Some of these are at the bottom of the national league table, and have traditionally struggled to attract big donors. There is a building donated and named after Shaw in almost every university in mainland China.

Based on the online survey by Ifeng.com juts after Shaw’s death, in which 85,344 people participated, in future 3, 63% of Chinese chose “the approximate 5bn HKD endowment to mainland China, where nearly every university has a building donated and named after Sir Shaw”, as his greatest achievement, followed by only 16% who chose his contribution to the movie industry. As shown in Figure 2, Sir Run Run Shaw is most remembered as a Philanthropist (71%) in China, rather than a media guru (16%). 70% of Chinese think that there are no other Chinese entrepreneur whose achievement can be compared to Sir Run Run Shaw, according to figure 4.

 

Possible Actions for national policies makers:

  • Policies should be developed to encourage local business to participate in fundraising for local education institutions;
  • Central government might consider incentivising business (local, national or global) to provide funding to second tier or third tier education institutions. They could use relatively small amounts of funding to good effect.

 

Figure 2:

Online Survey by Ifeng.com on Sir Run Run Shaw: what does Sir Run Run Shaw impress you most?

Sir Run Run Shaw 1

Figure 3:

Online Survey by Ifeng.com on Sir Run Run Shaw: What do you think is the greatest contribution of Sir Run Run Shaw?

Sir Run Run Shaw 2

 

Figure 4:

Online Survey by Ifeng.com on Sir Run Run Shaw: Do you think there are any other Chinese entrepreneur whose achievement can be compared to Sir Run Run Shaw?

Sir Run Run Shaw 3

Please click here to read Part 3 of this article.