The University of Cambridge has received a gift of £100m to help attract students to the prestigious institution – the largest single donation made to a UK university by a British philanthropist. The Independent reports.
David Harding, a billionaire businessman who founded hedge fund firm Winton, and his wife Claudia, a trustee of the Science Museum Foundation, have made the unprecedented donation.
The gift will help provide fully funded scholarships for more than 100 PhD students through a new postgraduate scholars programme from October, supported by £79m, £25m of which will go to St Catharine’s College, where Mr Harding studied natural sciences.
Meanwhile, undergraduate students will be supported with the remaining £21m. The fund will be used to encourage further donations from alumni and to look at the best approaches to attract disadvantaged students.
Prospective students from disadvantaged backgrounds who fail to meet the university’s high entry requirements could be given a chance to study at the institution through a transitional year.Professor Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said: “We are determined that Cambridge should nurture the finest academic talent, whatever the background or means of our students, to help us fulfil our mission ’to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence”.
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