Cambridge University received £210 million in philanthropic donations last yearKen Teegardin

Cambridge and Oxford together received almost £500 million in philanthropic donations in the past year, a Times Higher Education survey has revealed.

The Ross-Case survey for higher education, conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe, has revealed that philanthropic donations to UK universities increased by 23 per cent in 2015-16, to a total of £1.06 billion.

The study, which collected data from 110 institutions across the country, showed a marked increase in annual philanthropic donations from the previous year, when a total of £861 million was donated. 

The report suggests that universities which do not traditionally receive large amounts in philanthropic donations had benefitted from particularly large increases, with 61 universities receiving sums of £1 million in 2015-16. However,  Oxford and Cambridge collectively account for 46 per cent of all new funds received, an increase of 44 per cent in the space of a year, and 34 per cent of all donors, up from 32 per cent. 

Cambridge has been attempting to raise a total of £2 billion as part of the "Dear World, Yours Cambridge" funding drive. In his final address to members of the university in October 2016, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz announced that £210 million had been raised over the previous year, bringing the total for the campaign so far to £743 million.

While this extra charitable funding may come as a relief in the wake of post-Brexit financial predictions, there has been an overall decrease in the number of donors since 2014-15, with the number falling by 0.5 per cent. Case attributed the decline to fundraising regulations, which require the universities spending over £100,000 a year on fundraising to help finance the Fundraising Regulator.

Overall, university investment in fundraising has risen by 13 per cent since  2013-14, increasing by 16 per cent in 2015-16 alone, to £109 million

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