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Post by 8DonCo Mon Oct 10, 2022 5:56 pm

Oxford college renaming in doubt after donation from ‘bikini’ airline tycoon fails to materialise


Linacre College was to change its name to Thao College, after the chairman of Sovico Group, in exchange for £155m, but no money has arrived



Đại học Oxford bị lừa ?  TELEMMGLPICT000276416781_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq9Ke6Nca3EaSSSSPPifjX6ukzndC_G85eFXiroFEIFj4
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, founder and chief executive officer of VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co [size=13]CREDIT: Linh Luong Thai/Bloomberg
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Plans to rename an Oxford college after a Vietnamese “bikini” airline tycoon in exchange for a £155 million donation are in doubt after the first tranche of cash failed to materialise.

Linacre College announced last year that after receiving the “landmark gift” from Sovico Group, it would change its name to Thao College, named after the company’s chairman, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.
But The Telegraph has learned that the first £50 million - which was meant to have been paid to the college by June 30 - has not arrived. 
It comes amid speculation that negative publicity and doubts over whether the name change will go through have led to Ms Thao getting cold feet.
The college’s principal, bursar and development director travelled to Vietnam at the end of September in an attempt to secure the deal.  
“If she doesn't get the name change she could pull out," a source said, adding that the "doubt over the name change and the adverse publicity" is the most likely reason for the delay in the funds. 
At the time of announcing the donation, Thao said: "I believe that Oxford is the right place to make my long-time desire to contribute to humanity through education, training and research come true."
Earlier this year, the Government launched an investigation into the donation, after Dr Lewis warned in the Commons that Ms Thao is “extremely close to the Vietnamese communist government”. 
But the investigation closed, with Department for Education (DfE) officials praising the level of due diligence undertaken by Linacre College.

‘Dirty money and dodgy donations’


In order for the college name to be changed, it must be approved by the Privy Council. Linacre College alumni have launched a campaign to prevent the name change, arguing that it sends a message that British universities are “essentially for sale to the highest bidder”. 
Dr Julian Lewis MP, a member of the Privy Council, is urging the body to block the name change. Speaking in the Commons, he said: “If we want to clean up the dirty money and dodgy donations in this country, that would be a good place to start.”
 Mr Lewis, who is chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee but speaking in a personal capacity, explained: “Whereas the college can accept the money whether the government likes it or not, the college cannot change its name without Privy Council permission. Therefore, only the Privy Council has the power to intervene effectively.”
The formal agreement between Linacre College and Ms Thao states that the college will “use reasonable endeavours" to change its name by September 2023 after it receives the first £50 million payment. But it notes that this is “subject to the College receiving prior Privy Council consent”.
Linacre College was founded in 1962 and is named after the distinguished humanist and physician Thomas Linacre, who was born in Canterbury in the mid-fifteenth century.
But the college announced in November that it would change its name in exchange for a £155 million donation from Ms Thao’s company, Sovico Group.
Ms Thao was born in 1970 in Hanoi, North Vietnam. She began to build her fortune at age 21 while studying at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow, where she began importing fax machines, plastic and rubber into the then-Soviet Union.
In 2007, she launched VietJet Air as the first privately run low-cost airline in Vietnam which became known as the “bikini airline” after it ran an advertising campaign featuring bikini-clad flight attendants.

‘Influence of foreign money’


A decade later, she took the company public and in doing so became south-east Asia’s only female billionaire.
Ms Thao is chairman of Sovico Holdings, the parent company of VietJet Air, which invests in a number of real estate and energy projects.
A spokesman for Linacre College said: “We are working with Sovico and their financial advisers to develop processes for the transfer of funds that are transparent, auditable and meet with all the legal requirements of both UK and Vietnamese governments.
“Finding a fiscal solution that works has caused some delay. Following productive face-to-face meetings in Vietnam, we are now putting all the relevant processes and paperwork in place to transfer the funds.”
A DfE spokesman said: “We have already tabled an amendment that addresses the legitimate concerns over the influence of foreign money in higher education, without stifling the ability of our world-class universities to work with global partners.
“We will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security and the UK Government continues to support the sector to identify and mitigate the risks of interference.”

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Post by 8DonCo Mon Oct 10, 2022 5:57 pm

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Đại học Oxford bị lừa ?  C7f64202b0357f04c779d805f437c5fc

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Happy Re: Đại học Oxford bị lừa ?

Post by ga10 Tue Oct 11, 2022 12:25 pm

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Post by LDN Tue Oct 11, 2022 12:31 pm

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