Business entrepreneur-philanthropist and Just Water founder Tony Falkenstein has pledged $500,000 to Waikato University's school of management to enable students to travel overseas and experience global business innovation.

Falkenstein, who founded the business school at Onehunga College and is a champion of innovation and entrepreneurship, said he was "putting my money where my mouth is".

The donation, which will be $100,000 a year for five years with the option of continuing another five years, is the largest donation of its kind to directly benefit students since Waikato University's management school was founded in 1972, said dean professor Tim Coltman.

The overseas study tour funds will support the university's four-year Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours degree.


Students will visit one or more countries with the opportunity to visit successful businesses.

Falkenstein, who is chief executive of NZX-listed Just Water, told the Herald that if he had his way, New Zealand would have a global business school which made it compulsory for students to experience overseas business study.

Falkenstein has been a member of the management school's business advisory board for two years and was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2008.