Thursday 3 April 2008

The power of philanthropy

I'm delighted to see John Denham enthusiastically taking forward the £200m endowment scheme announced by Tony Blair last year. There is plenty of evidence from the Sutton Trust and others than when similar schemes were introduced in state universities in the United States, they led to a big increase in alumni and philanthropic giving. British universities have often been reticent about turning to their alumni for donations; the new scheme with match-funded on a tiered scale should encourage all to do so, not just the Oxfords and Cambridges which have a reasonable tradition of doing so. If it is a success, improved fundraising could considerably increase higher education income, and the ability of universities to innovate.

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