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UK University Donations Surpass £1bn

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A new survey shows that the value of donations to UK universities has surpassed £1bn a year for the first time.

The Ross-Case survey of higher education, carried out by the council for Advancement and Support of Education Europe, indicates that the total value of philanthropic donations to 110 participating universities has increased 23% year-on-year.

Commenting on the landmark figure, Case global vice president Tricia King said: "Philanthropic giving is now at the heart of UK university culture.

"It provides vital funds to enable the nation's universities to invest in new ground breaking research that pushes back the boundaries of knowledge, improves social mobility by widening access to degree study and builds world class facilities."

Although the £1.06bn donated now represents an important income stream for UK universities, it's Oxford and Cambridge that remain the biggest beneficiaries. The two institutions received a whopping 46% of new funds.

Despite the growing income stream, Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, called for greater public investment rather than reliance on donations.

She said: "Higher education is worth paying for, and UCU remains committed to campaigning for greater public investment rather than asking others to make up shortfalls."

The increase in donations comes despite a small decline in the number of donors, which fell 0.5% year-on-year.

As a result of the yearly increase, universities are now raising in 12 months what they would have achieved over five years. Between 2000 and 2005 total new funds secured was reported at just over £1bn, which has now been achieved in a single year.