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China Network: Launch of the 2013 COFCO Fortune Student Funding Program

The conclusion of the 2012 COFCO Fortune Student Funding Program and the launch of the 2013 program was held at China Agricultural University on May 22nd. COFCO Fortune subsidized teacher and student representatives from 15 universities and colleges to travel to Beijing for the ceremony. They jointly reviewed the results for 2012, and kicked off the program for 2013.

After signing the contract with the China Education Development Foundation in June 2012, COFCO Fortune immediately visited 15 universities and colleges, among them Peking, Fudan and Wuhan Universities, and offered tuition assistance valued at over RMB 1.5 million to some 300 financially disadvantaged students to help them pursue their dreams. In 2013, the program will continue, expanded to provide assistance to the tune of RMB 3 million-plus to more than 600 students. COFCO Fortune also established a social supervision committee made up of Olympic champions and well-know media to oversee the transparency and credibility of the program. Olympic diving champion Wu Minxia said that members of the social supervision committee would, on behalf of the public, supervise the program and guarantee that the funds actually reach the participating students, and took the opportunity to call on other enterprises to assist financially disadvantaged students. Zhang Baoqing, president of the China Education Development Foundation, explained that subsidies for students align closely with the Foundation’s own core interests, as they enable equal educational opportunity. He said that equal educational opportunity is of great importance and a basic requirement of society.

Guo Peng, Deputy Director of the Office of Treasury of the Ministry of Education, recounted the very old adage, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. He said, “charitable student funding programs not only help students complete their education, but also provides them with lifelong opportunities. This type of program is just what we need."

According to Ms. Luan Xiuju, managing director of China Foods, the program will contribute over RMB 60 million in funding over a 13 year period, paying the tuition fees for some 12,000 financially disadvantaged students. It also involves the establishment of a COFCO professional training and internship program for undergraduates, and the development of an enterprise charitable platform to enable ongoing support of its education undertaking.