In the early 1980s the Hanns Seidel Foundation initiated a scholarship program for Chinese students. In addition, staff members from the Hanns Seidel Foundation’s educational network were also offered the opportunity for further training in Germany. Today there are several hundred former HSF scholarship holders in China.
In October 2005, the first Hanns Seidel Foundation Alumni Association in China was founded in Beijing, under the institutional umbrella of the Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA). In December 2010, a second Alumni Association was established in Shanghai, with members from Shanghai but also from adjoining provinces, under the institutional umbrella of the Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association (SORSA).
The associations have the following objectives:
The alumni association has regular board elections, manages its own budget and regularly organizes events on special topics and cultural activities.