Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, has announced that the new target for the University’s fundraising campaign is £3 billion.
Oxford Thinking, its major campaign begun in 2004 and opened to public support in 2008, had already passed its original target of £1.25 billion. Professional Hamilton described that as “milestone… on a continuing road”.
In his annual Oration to the University last week, he said of the new target: “I am sure we can do it – and frankly we have to do it, because it represents the essential down payment on the future aspirations and achievements of our University”.
£100m matched funding scheme for postgraduate scholarships
He also announced a £100 million matched funding scheme to support postgraduate students with scholarships. This was designed to help close what he called the “graduate funding gap”.
The Oxford Graduate Scholarship Matched Fund will aim to raise £100 million for new graduate scholarships by July 2017. Each scholarship with be funded 60% from philanthropic donations, with the University committing the remaining 40%, up to £40m.
Philanthropy and state funding
Professor Hamilton praised the transformative power of philanthropy, citing the examples of the Moritz-Heyman scholarships for 100 UK undergraduates, following a £75 million commitment; the 38 students forming the first intake of the new Blavatnik School of Government, founded by a £75 millon donation from Leonard Blavatnik; and The Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities, worth more than £26 million.
He added that philanthropy had its limits and the state still had a role. He warned that philanthropy was not “a magic bullet for the future funding of our universities, and nor is it a door through which the state can progressively leave the scene.”
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