Uni launches fundraising drive

first_imgThe move also aims to increase the University’s financial independence from the government, although Cunningham was keen to emphasise that there were “no negative motives behind the campaign.”As well as encouraging applications from students from all backgrounds, the drive hopes to fund improved infrastructure in the University.The money raised will go towards the building of  a new humanities and mathematical institute on the site of the former Radcliffe Infirmary. Important developments are also being made to the Bodleian library and to the Ashmolean Museum.The Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood spoke of the necessity of the campaign, saying, “It must significantly increase the University’s endowment if it is to establish a strong philanthropic foundation for the future.”Cunningham was reluctant to give an estimated time period for the money to be raised saying, “There is no explicit time scale, we would prefer to base our time estimates on the success achieved each year.”She praised the willingness of the patrons of the campaign to get involved, speaking of David Cameron’s enthusiasm for the project, and also adding, “Michael Palin is narrating a film about the University which is accompanying the campaign.”Dame Vivien Duffield, Chairman of the Campaign, also discussed the importance of the campaign. She said,“We are the custodians of the spirit, and the intellectual brilliance, of the University of Oxford.“I passionately believe that the task before us is to guarantee Oxford’s future pre-eminence in a world now changing so fast that we must lead or fall behind. “For learning and progress in the world, and Britain’s place in it, there can be no greater investment that in the University of Oxford. I urge you to join with us.”Cunningham was also keen to echo this message. She said, “Our campaign supports what Oxford is all about, and that is the students.“We will all benefit from the improvements that will arise form this campaign. It is an exciting moment in the history of the university and I would urge any students who have an opinion on any aspect of the campaign to get in touch.” Since 2004, there have been more than 20,000 donors (individuals, foundations and other organisations) to the University and the pre-launch campaign has raised around £575m. Photo: Oxford University Oxford University launched its biggest ever fund-raising drive on Wednesday in a bid to raise a minimum of £1.25bn.The campaign is to be fronted by several prominent patrons including David Cameron, Michael Palin, Richard Dawkins and Ian Hislop. It is the largest ever to be organised by a European academic institution.It aims to sustain and enhance Oxford’s international reputation as an academic institution and to ensure that students from under-privileged backgrounds are not deterred from applying. The campaign intends to make admission to Oxford University “needs-blind.”One of the key areas the campaign aims to target is the financial assistance offered to undergraduate and postgraduate students. A spokesperson for the University Development Office, Susan Cunningham, said that she hoped that students from poorer-backgrounds are not currently deterred from applying to Oxford, but  admitted that there was a problem that was not currently being addressed sufficiently. She said, “There is currently a huge amount done to encourage anyone to apply to Oxford if they have the academic ability. But we are not yet in an ideal position.“We have one of the most generous undergraduate provision schemes, but the situation is not the same for graduates. We need to improve this.”It has been alleged that the campaign is an attempt by Oxford University to compete with the larger American universities such as Harvard and Yale, which can charge higher fees and attract large donations from alumnae.Cunningham said, “Our level of endowments is less than a quarter of our equivalents in the US. We know we need to improve this in order to move forwards.”last_img

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