Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy and Nike co-founder Philip Knight talk about serving to worldwide college students with scholarships.
Every year, a scholars program by Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy and Nike co-founder Philip Knight offers up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world, a fully-paid postgraduate scholarship at their alma mater, Stanford University.
- The Knight-Hennessy scholarship helps students from around the globe get a graduate degree from Stanford University.
- Alphabet’s chair and the scholarship’s namesake explained to CNBC why international education is important to the U.S.
Oyakhire is one of the 49 applicants selected from 3,601 applicants, who received a personal phone call from Hennessy to study at Stanford.
Every scholar gets full financial assistance for three years to earn a bachelor’s degree. Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic excellence, civil mindset and displayed leadership capability.
The Knight-Hennessy scholarship s funding comes from deep Silicon Valley pockets and helps students from around the world get a top-tier education. With an endowment of $ 750 million, it benefits from the generosity of Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike and Stanford Alam, who donated $ 400 million in 2016 to start scholarship funding with Hennessy.
Hennessy told CNBC that there is a lot of pressure on the federal government to help finance higher education — something Hennessy stated needs to change as student debt burdens soar.
He also said that “I think it is a mistake to let the burdens of the federal government budget fall, disproportionately, on people under the age of 25”. Hennessy, who is also Stanford’s 10th President and visionary behind the program, believes higher education is a “good investment”.
Even so, federal loans are limited to undergraduate students – therefore the reason is that students like Oyikhar can benefit from funding like Night-Henness Scholarship.
The environment has become difficult for international students receiving an American education. In 2017, the rate of international graduate students coming to the United States dropped by 7 percent.
According to a survey of 500 college campuses conducted by the International Institute of Education, 45 percent of the campus reported the drop in international student enrollment.
John Hennessy told CNBC that “I think what you are seeing is some of the rhetoric aimed at international visitors and international students, maybe makes them less comfortable coming to the U.S.”.
Hennessy also suggested that President Donald Trump’s immigration policy could affect Silicon Valley in a negative way. “You just look down at Silicon Valley and at the string of companies that have had at least one of their founders born outside on the United States,” he said.
“Intel, Google, Yahoo, they all had someone from their founding team born outside the U.S.”
Hennessy also said if the U.S. loses the ability to bring and attract immigrants “it will hurt all of our ability to be the leader in the future.”
Another scholarship recipient, Abuzar Royesh from Afghanistan told CNBC “it’s important to have different people with different backgrounds be a part of shaping the discourse.”
This year’s scholars come from 20 different countries. Next year, the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship Program will accept 75 students from all over the world.