UK universities philanthropic giving has reached record levels surpassing the £1 billion-a-year milestone for the first time, aided by half a million pounds in new funds secured in 2015-2016 financial year by the University of Westminster.

Philanthropic income to UK academic institutions year-on-year surged by 23% across the 110 participating universities in the latest annual Ross-CASE survey on higher education giving in the UK.

In the last academic year, the University of Westminster secured gifts from over 300 of its alumni (in line with the sector average) to support a range of activity including student bursaries; academic scholarships; research projects and the outreach work of the Regent Street Cinema.

To build on this success, the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) recently published its Case for Support which outlines the institution’s fundraising priorities through to 2020.  The team’s focus is solely on initiatives that will further enhance the experiences, opportunities and employability of our current students.

Recent gifts to support our current students include a donation of £36,000 from alumnus Trevor Yang, to provide University of Westminster students with funded outward mobility opportunities over the next three years. This generous donation will enable the launch of Westminster Working Cultures in Hong Kong; an innovative programme which equips students with invaluable skills and experience to help them succeed in today’s increasingly competitive graduate jobs market. This and other new initiatives would not have been possible without such warm support from our global alumni community.

Chris Smith, Director of Development and Alumni Relations (DARO) at Westminster said:
“The support of our alumni and friends is absolutely essential to the future success of the University and our students.  Our donors provide additional funding to enable projects to be delivered but also act as global ambassadors for the work of the institution. We are truly grateful for the support of our alumni and friends who have given financially; have given their time and expertise to further enhance the student experience at the University of Westminster.”

The Ross-CASE report was compiled by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe. Tricia King, Global Vice President (CASE) 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. University fundraising is dependent upon building long term relationships with donors and their investment over time demonstrates a powerful belief in the capacity of universities to tackle world problems. It’s particularly pleasing to see that our alumni make such a major contribution.  It’s clear that they, more than anyone, have experienced the benefits of university study and it’s gratifying that they want to give back.”

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