Linacre College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford in the UK, is seeking permission to change its name to Thao College, after Vietnamese businesswoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao committed a £155 million (US$211 million) donation to the school.
“We are very pleased to be able to announce that we have signed a memorandum of understanding with Sovico Group, represented by their chairwoman Madam Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, to receive a philanthropy donation of a total of £155 million," Linacre College announced on its website on Monday.
“This gift will have a transformative impact on Linacre College and we are immensely grateful for their generosity."
On Sunday, Sovico Group’s chairwoman Thao and principal of Linacre College Nick Brown signed the MoU on mutual cooperation and investment in education research and development in Edinburgh, Scotland, the group said in a statement.
The MoU also mentioned the development of a college under the University of Oxford system and the establishment of a scholarship fund worth £7.5 million ($10.2 million) for students from Vietnam and other countries, the Vietnamese company added.
Linacre College’s website additionally stated that they are asking the Privy Council for permission to change the school name from Linacre College to Thao College in recognition of this landmark gift after receiving the first donation of £50 million.
Thao is known as the founder and chairwoman of Sovico Group, a shareholder of the first private airline in Vietnam, Vietjet Air, and vice-chairwoman of HDBank, a large commercial lender.
The businesswoman has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, according Forbes magazine.
She ranked 1,111th on the Forbes 2021 World's Richest List.