Cambridge University receives £100 million gift from David and Claudia Harding Foundation


Alliance magazine


Cambridge University announced an unprecedented £100 million donation from the David and Claudia Harding Foundation – the biggest single gift made to a university in the UK by a British philanthropist.

Prof Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: ‘This extraordinarily generous gift from David and Claudia Harding will be invaluable in sustaining Cambridge’s place among the world’s leading universities and will help to transform our offer to students. We want to attract, support and fund the most talented students we can find from all parts of the UK and the world.

‘We are determined that Cambridge should nurture the finest academic talent, whatever the background or means of our students, to help us fulfil our mission ’to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence’.’

It will propel an ambitious £500 million fundraising drive, announced last autumn, aimed directly at increasing financial and wider support for students at Cambridge.

David Harding said: ‘Claudia and I are very happy to make this gift to Cambridge to help to attract future generations of the world’s outstanding students to research and study there. Cambridge and other British centres of learning have down the ages contributed greatly to improvements in the human condition and can continue in future to address humanity’s great challenges.’

The gift will fund The Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme, supported by £79 million, which will provide fully funded scholarships for the most talented PhD students. The remaining £21 million is earmarked for supporting undergraduate students. In collaboration between the University and the Colleges, The Harding Collegiate Cambridge Challenge Fund, worth £20 million, will aim to encourage further donations from alumni for financial support to undergraduates. A further £1 million is set aside to stimulate innovative approaches to attracting undergraduate students from under-represented groups.

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