The Alumni Association has raised £460,000 in the last academic year to fund scholarships and research projects across campus.
It has also raised over £100,000 in the last three months.
The money was raised from a variety of sources, including telephone campaigns conducted by current students. The recent Autumn campaign has led to donations from 450 alumni, including recent graduates.
The majority of donations will be directed towards the Undergraduate Access Scholarships. The beneficiaries of this scholarship are students from Greater Manchester who complete the Manchester Access Programme. They receive financial support of £1,000 per year from alumni, in addition to the support they already receive from the University.
Annual Fund Manager Rob Summers said, “There are so many students, especially in the local area, that have the knowledge, talent and potential to really make the most of University education. University shouldn’t just be for people that can afford it; it should be for people who have the capacity to succeed.”
The donations are currently supporting 550 students at the University this year. Along with Undergraduate Access Scholarships, the funds are used to provide Masters Scholarships for students from developing countries, Hardship Grants for students facing financial difficulty and Research Scholarships for PhD students.
Developmental Biology PhD student Rebecca Williams received a grant to fund her research into breast cancer. Williams won the New Researcher Prize for her work earlier this year.
She said, “At the end of the year, I just want to reiterate how grateful I am to my Alumni donors for funding this PhD. It makes a very personal difference to me, and my life, but also to the lives of so many people suffering with breast cancer.”
This year the Association is aiming to raise £500,000 from over 4,500 donors and to widen participation to students. It also aims to widen alumni engagement on campus.
Summers added, “We get alumni back on campus to provide careers talks and engage with students to offer advice on the opportunities available to them once they graduate. There’s a big focus on graduate employability at Manchester and getting alumni involved in this way is really important.
“By providing this support, donors are doing something absolutely amazing.”