Philanthropists urged to follow Bill Gates example

  • September 12, 2012
Philanthropists urged to follow Bill Gates example

Educational philanthropy is now a core part of university funding, but universities need to actively seek out philanthropists who will allow them total freedom over how they use the money, according to the Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust.

Educational philanthropy is now a core part of university funding, but universities need to actively seek out philanthropists who will allow them total freedom over how they use the money, according to the Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust.

In a film released by Blue Skies magazine, Professor Robert Lethbridge says the media has underplayed the consequences of rising tuition fees on access, particularly with regard to postgraduate education. He says there is a common perception that postgraduates are “eternal students” rather than absolutely vital for the UK’s knowledge economy.

A major exception in that debate, he adds, is “the extraordinarily generous gift” from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of $210m for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. “It remains the largest ever donation to a UK university,” he states.

One of the most important elements of it is that it respects the University’s freedom to decide how best to push forward the boundaries of knowledge. To date, the Gates Cambridge Trust has awarded over 1,000 Scholarships to citizens of over 90 countries in every discipline offered by the University. .

Professor Lethbridge says that this freedom recognises that to make progress in areas such as global health or technology a wider understanding of culture and society is necessary.

“UK universities need to urgently find philanthropists to follow the Gates Cambridge example,” says Professor Lethbridge, adding that educational philanthropy is at a turning point.

“The Government is not able to support research in many fields which are vital to our modern society,” he adds. “Philanthropy is becoming not simply an extra but a necessary income stream for funding core activities.” Given total freedom over how they use philanthropic funding, universities can maintain the UK’s pre-eminence in higher education, he states.

“Philanthropy has to give universities the freedom to explore the boundaries of knowledge without any government or commercial agenda.”

 

 

Latest News

New app aims to help women through the menopause

A new app which helps women to manage the menopause was soft launched last month in collaboration with Mumsnet. Stella is the first product by Vira Health, a company which was co-founded in 2019 by Gates Cambridge Scholar Rebecca Love. Stella offers women relief from the most common symptoms of menopause, including sleep disturbances, hot […]

A global perspective on gender and health

The middle of a global pandemic may not seem the ideal time to move country with a new baby, but Johanna Riha [2011] took up her new role as a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Malaysia during the pandemic and moved to Kuala Lumpur around a […]

Scholars share 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing the 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Emma Soneson and Maša Josipović have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late Bill Gates Sr.’s role in establishing the […]

The censoring effect of populist anti-media messages

Populist attacks on the press should be viewed as a form of soft censorship which uses journalistic norms regarding objectivity to undermine the media, according to a new study by a Gates Cambridge Scholar. The study, Covering populist media criticism: When journalists’ professional norms turn against them, by Ayala Panievsky, is published in the International […]