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New Initiative Encourages Donations to Universities

Feb 15 2007 17:21
Ashley Brown
The Government is to give Universities £1 for every £2 they raise through philanthropic donations - from 2008, the year after Imperial's large fundraising campaign kicks off.
Donate one giant greenhouse, get another half price! (as long as you pay)

A new Government initiative to help generate endowments for UK Universities has been officially launched today, with £200m set aside to add a bonus to donations received. Universities will receive £1 for every £2 they raise.

Imperial has high hopes of raising a large sum of money from alumni in its Centenary year, but there is a risk of peaking too soon: the scheme only comes into effect from 2008 and will run for three years. Ironically, a briefing from the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit names Imperial (alongside LSE) as one of the "world class" institutions with endowments of less than £50m, even though it will be disadvantaged by starting the scheme next year instead of now. Imperial's endowment fund is growing dramatically, with a target of £300m over the next few years through investment and donations.

£200m across nearly 150 Higher Education Institutions is not a great deal, particularly as the extra grant to each institution will be capped, in order to prevent the money being sent to just a few Universities. At the end of the first three years money set aside for institutions which have not met their cap will be returned to the funding pool for re-allocation to those which have raised more than their cap.

The NUS, of which Imperial College Union is now a member, has greeted the move with caution, sending the message that a US-based system with large endowments and large fees is not appropriate for the UK.

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Discussion about “New Initiative Encourages Donations to Universities”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. wtf?   
Feb 15 2007 18:29

This is ridiculous that donations are capped? It should be that good universites with successful alumni befefit from them. I would happily give money to Imperial but not some ex-poly.

Feb 15 2007 18:31

The extra money given by the government is capped, not the donations :)

Feb 15 2007 23:57

I happen to know that the College Fund is substantially over £50m - more like £180m I believe...

Feb 16 2007 00:27

Indeed. Unfortunately the Government seems a few years behind the times...

5. Sam   
Feb 16 2007 01:30


Nice to see you on Live! even if it's not really you but a very knowledgeable imposter. The question is not really how much is in the College Fund, it's how much of the College Fund is going to be spent directly on Students rather than lovely glass-fronted buildings.

Feb 17 2007 10:29

The College Fund is actually frightfully clever - none of it is really spent. It's simply used as collateral (?) to borrow against. This works well because the rate of return on the fund is higher than the interest rate on the College's Loans - see the recent £50m over 50 years.

7. Seb   
Feb 19 2007 08:13

Doesn't that entail some degree of risk?

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