University of Oxford graduate college to be renamed for Vietnam's richest woman

A University of Oxford college is planning on changing its name to Thao College after receiving £155 million from a Vietnamese investment group.

Donation: Linacre College signed a memorandum of understanding on Oct. 31 with SOVICO group to receive a donation of £155 million (approximately $211 million).

  • The college announced the news on their website on Nov. 1 and cited plans to create a new graduate building and offer more graduate scholarships.

  • The donation will also aid the college’s day-to-day operations.

  • “We have long been one of the least well-endowed colleges at the University, so we are delighted that a significant part of the donation will be for our general endowment fund, to help support the daily running of College,” the announcement read.

SOVICO group: The Vietnamese investment group, established in the 1990s by a group of entrepreneurs, was represented by its chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao in the memorandum of understanding.

  • The college will be renamed to Thao College after it receives the first donation of £50 million (approximately $68 million).

  • Nguyen, the founder of Vietjet Air, is one of Asia's self-made female billionaires. She is considered to be the richest woman in Vietnam, according to the Bangkok Post.

History of the college: Linacre College is one of 36 constituent colleges at the University of Oxford.

  • Founded in 1962, the graduate college was named after Thomas Linacre, a 15th century humanist, medical scientist and classicist.

  • It is the UK’s first co-ed graduate college with interdisciplinary studies.

  • The college has more than 550 graduate students and more than 50 fellows.

Featured Image via Chubby Jayaram Singh (left), Graduate Study at Oxford (right)

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