China's first private research-oriented university Westlake University,which is backed by some of the country's biggest business tycoons, wasofficially inaugurated on Saturday morning in Hangzhou, East China's ZhejiangProvince, according to media reports.
Westlake University is the first research-oriented university funded byprivate sources and supported by the Chinese government in the country, domesticnews website thepaper.cn reported on Saturday.
The non-profit institution was launched by a slew of prominent academia inthe country and funded by high-profile business executives, including TencentHoldings Ltd Chairman Pony Ma Huateng and Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin,according to information on the school's website.<纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/>
Headed by Shi Yigong, a biologist and former vice president of theprestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, Westlake will be dedicated to thestudy of natural science and engineering, with world-class environment andstate-of-the-art research facility.
Construction for the university started in April and is expected to becompleted by 2021.Total investment for the project is estimated at 3.68 billionyuan ($585 million), according to media reports.
The opening of Westlake University also comes as Chinese business leadersare throwing their support behind the country's education sector.
Several other Chinese business leaders, including Alibaba Group founderJack Ma Yun and Lenovo Group founder Liu Chuanzhi, have also jointly started anon-profit institution - Hupan University in Zhejiang.
The university was inaugurated in March 2015. Ma Yun, who announced hisretirement from Alibaba in September to focus on charity work, including ineducation, was the university's first president.