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19th September 2012

UK university donations to reach £2 billion by 2022

Charitable donations could play a more major role in UK university funding if trends continue

UK universities “can expect to receive up to £2 billion per annum from some 630,000 donors by 2022” according to a newly published report.

The figure would be almost treble the donations received last year, which totaled £693 million from 204,000 donors.

Only 1.2% of UK alumni donate to their former university, compared with 10% of graduates in the US.

In 1874, ER Langworthy left £10,000 to The University of Manchester “to encourage discovery in Physics”.

The Langworthy Professorship was created and four holders of this position have since won the Nobel prize for Physics, including the current Langworthy Professor Andre Geim who co-won in 2010 for the discovery of graphene.

The Review of Philanthropy in Higher Education was led by Shirley Pearce, former Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University, but was commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and carried out by the More Partnership.

The More Partnership, a fundraising consultancy firm, published the report which states that investment in fundraising expertise is more effective than fundraising alone.

The report also asks to government to continue “matched funding”, since public investment of £143 million triggered around £580 million in donations to English universities between 2008-2011.

Tax incentives for charitable donations are recommended and the review welcomed the government U-turn in May on a proposed cap on such tax relief.

A separate report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development revealed that private funding for UK higher education is now 0.7 per cent of GDP and therefore above public spending at just 0.6 per cent.

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