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King's China Institute receives £6m donation

The King’s China Institute has been re-named the Lau China Institute, after receiving a gift of £6 million from the family of Dr Lau Ming-Wai, a King’s alumnus based in Hong Kong.

Thanks to the generosity and vision of Dr Lau and his family, the Lau China Institute is now set to become a world leader on China in the 21st century, with research into its politics, economics and culture. Their donation will fund the appointment of senior academic staff at the China Institute including one new Chair, and two new Lecturers.

The King’s China Institute, which opened in 2008, is part of a wider initiative at King’s to establish a network of Global Institutes to focus on contemporary developments in fast-changing parts of the world. Together with the Brazil and India Institutes, the aim is to focus on the emerging powers in a contemporary setting, with interdisciplinary teaching and research drawn from across the arts and humanities, policy, science and health disciplines. As part of the College’s broader internationalisation strategy the Global Institutes aim to contribute to a growing understanding of specific nations and regions that will be 21st century cultural, political and economic powers.

Dr Lau Ming-Wai has an LLB and a PhD in Law from King’s and is a respected and active member of the China and Hong Kong business worlds.  Dr Lau said his extensive studies at King’s were instrumental in helping him achieve his career goals in his homeland. He is based in Hong Kong, and is Vice Chairman of Chinese Estate Holdings Limited. The Lau family are well known for their philanthropy – he said their gift to King’s was motivated by a desire to help Hong Kong and China’s future generations: ‘I spent many enjoyable years at King’s, and now want to offer – as a symbol of my gratitude – financial support to the China Institute – as a way of supporting Hong Kong and China’s next generation of academics, leaders and entrepreneurs. I believe in what the King’s China Institute is trying to achieve; promoting an exchange of ideas between the West and China, as well as supporting research into the economic, political and cultural ideology behind China’s current prominence on the world stage.’


The Principal of King’s, Professor Sir Richard Trainor commented: ‘We are extremely grateful to our alumnus Dr Lau Ming-Wai for this very generous donation, which is the largest by an individual in the College’s history. We are excited about the future of the new Lau China Institute at King’s and what we can achieve in terms of global understanding of China.’


Professor Keith Hoggart, Vice Principal External Relations at King’s, who is leading the development of the Global Institutes, said: ‘Dr Lau’s donation is fantastic news for the China Institute faculty, and all the Global Institutes at King’s. The China Institute is now moving from strength to strength – our Master’s programme in China & Globalisation is already very popular, and with this generous donation we will be able to recruit new teaching posts for further degree programmes.’

Ziyuan Ao, a student at the China Institute, who is studying on the MSc China & Globalisation programme, said King’s had already exceeded her expectations:  ‘Studying at the King’s China Institute has allowed me to enjoy the richness and variety of this dynamic capital city and prestigious university which is known the world over. It feels great that the gift has come from a King’s alumnus in China and I feel proud that I am studying here. The knowledge I am gaining at the China Institute is going to really boost my career prospects. I am also meeting many interesting and important people, with connections in business, politics and creative industries.’


Former British Prime Minister and Chairman of King’s groundbreaking £500 million fundraising campaign, Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH said: ‘I am delighted that the Lau family have honoured King’s with this magnificent gift, and enormously grateful for their generosity.  The new Lau China Institute will play an increasingly influential role in addressing some of the most pressing global challenges for leaders and policy-makers in the 21st century. The Institute will foster important links between the UK and China, not just in academic circles, but in the fields of government, science, the arts and business.’


For more details contact Katherine Barnes on 0207 848 3076 or at

lau china institute
Lau China Institute
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