University of Newcastle Receives $20 Million for Scholarship Program

The University of Newcastle in Australia has announced a $20 million gift from the Jack Ma Foundation to create a scholarship program aimed at building an enduring community of scholars.

The largest gift in the university's history will establish the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program, which in its first year will provide thirty scholarships — twenty in support of students pursuing a four-year degree and ten one-off scholarships in support of educational exchange, internship, and immersion activities. At full capacity, the program will support ninety students a year.

Students will be selected based on their interest in and commitment to cross-cultural understanding, cooperation, and peace; social justice and equity; fairness and ethics in entrepreneurship and industrial relations; and sustainable development. In addition, the program will focus on supporting students from disadvantaged and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Jack Ma, the executive chairman and founder of the Alibaba Group, met Ken Morley and his family as a teenager when they were touring Ma's hometown, Hangzhou, China, in 1980. Morley, who died in 2004, went on to become a highly influential figure in Ma's life, instilling core values and a global perspective that positively impacted his future and contributed to his success.

"To honor the experience and the special relationship I formed with the Morley family, the Jack Ma Foundation is delighted to announce the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program," said Ma. "Alibaba was built by young people and we are committed to lifting up and empowering students so they can reach their dreams and ambitions."

"Remarkable Friendship Honoured With Ma-Morley Scholarship Program." University of Newcastle Press Release 02/03/2017.