Technion opens first Israeli university in China
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Technion opens first Israeli university in China

(JTA) — The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has laid the cornerstone for a research center in Shantou, China.

Construction of the Guandong Technion Israel Institute of Technology began Wednesday. The institute is the product of a $130 million gift from investor Li Ka Shing and will be a joint venture between the Technion and Shantou University.

“[T]he establishment of a Technion campus in China is more proof that Israeli innovation is breaking down geographic borders,” former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday. “I hope that the economic cooperation between these two countries will continue to expand, as both countries have much to share with, and learn from, one another.”

The campus will offer Technion engineering degrees at all levels, from bachelor’s to doctorate. The school plans to enroll an initial class of 100 students for chemical engineering in 2016. It eventually plans to enroll 4,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students.

The $130 million gift by Li, who with a net worth of nearly $30 billion is the richest man in China, is the largest ever given to the Technion.

The Technion also recently opened a joint campus in New York City with Cornell University. Cornell Tech currently offers graduate-level degrees in a temporary site in Manhattan, but it is slated to open three new buildings on Roosevelt Island in 2017.

The Technion is located in Haifa and is Israel’s most prestigious engineering and science university.