Education is key to developing a better China, says Yvonne Chan of Ho & Ho Foundation

September 9, 2016

A generous gift from the Ho & Ho Foundation of Hong Kong will support initiatives that expose Ford School students—aspiring public servants and policy leaders—to China’s policy environment.

Funded activities will include the Ford School’s U.S./China policy course and trip, which introduces students to the Chinese political, cultural, and policymaking environment, and may also include student internships and relevant faculty research initiatives.

The Ho & Ho Foundation, a small family foundation, was established by the Hong Kong philanthropist Ming-Sze Ho. Once a member of the Chinese Communist Party, Ho publicly resigned from the party after the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

The foundation focuses mainly on educational initiatives. “My family has always taken a keen interest in helping to develop education in China,” says Ho’s granddaughter, Yvonne Chan, who now manages the family foundation. “We believe that education is the key to developing a better country.”

The foundation’s support is primarily targeted toward the education of low-income students from the Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Hunan provinces. The foundation provides scholarships for them to study in China and, more recently, at three universities in Hong Kong.

“In order for China to develop as a country, you can’t just focus on the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai—the country has to grow as a whole,” says Chan of the foundation’s geographic focus. These provinces, she explains, are historically important areas with large populations of low-income and minority students.

The foundation learned about the Ford School through Associate Professor Ann Lin, a family friend, who runs the Ford School's U.S./China policy course and trip. “[I]t’s beneficial for overseas students to visit China, to learn more about the country,” says Chan.

Ming-Sze Ho, the foundation’s benefactor, has donated to organizations designed to promote patriotic democratic movements in China, has criticized the corruption of Chinese government officials, and has long advocated for increased understanding of China among western nations.

“The Ho & Ho Foundation’s support will be immensely helpful as we work to transform Ford School students’ understanding of China and its political and policymaking environment,” says Susan M. Collins, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy.

“We look forward to reporting on the impact of this investment in the years ahead.”