Cambridge – already the richest uni in Europe – to fill its coffers with an extra £2 BILLION in endowments

New fundraising campaign will allow Cambridge compete with rich American unis

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The University of Cambridge, the richest university in Europe, is seeking a further £2 billion to add to its endowment.

The move is part of a massive fundraising campaign starting with a Gala Dinner at Trinity this Saturday. 

Cambridge is already the most endowed university in the UK, boasting just under £6 billion of collegiate and central university investments.

An endowment is the money a university invests to gain returns that are used for the good of the university. The endowment is constituted by alumni donations, among other sources. It can also come from sales of assets, or the re-investment of endowment returns.

These investments produce a return that covers the running costs of the university, alongside the public subsidy already provided by the government and various other sources of income. Last year the return was 10.4%, and the year before that, it was 20%.

Look at how much we're struggling...

We need more more money to varnish our stylish and outrageously expensive new faculty buildings.

To put it into perspective, UCL only had £593 million of endowments in 2011, while Edinburgh had less £300 million in 2014.

These reports come months after it was revealed that Oxford has also recently announced ambitions to increase their endowments by £2 billion, and suggestions have been made that Cambridge has been pushed to compete with its traditional rival.

It is unclear as to how these funds would be used by the Cambridge.

If the university is happy to solicit charitable donations to invest in its future, it is important to know what future Cambridge envisages. In receiving such a disproportionate share of the UK’s educational wealth, there are suggestions it carries an inflated responsibility in solving problems in education and beyond.

While this cash injection would likely mean improvements to resources and facilities here, the question of whether Cambridge deserves more funding than any other university in the UK stands. £2 billion could be invested in putting thousands of students through further education, or in improving institutions across the country.

This coming Saturday – October 17 – the Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations (CUDAR) will be holding the Campaign Launch Gala Dinner at Trinity College, inviting hundreds of potential donors and benefactors.

When we spoke to the Trinity press officer, she denied any comment, as did the central university communications office. We have, however, come by this email sent to students at Trinity.

Email sent to students

Gettin' ready for bare dollar

Gettin’ ready for bare dollar.

The plan does suggest that the university is keen to compete internationally in the long run. Such a financial scheme reflects a clear ambition to continue to lead education and research for the foreseeable future.

The university communications office has failed to state where the investments will come from or whether there have been any deals signed to this date, or whether the endowments will be deliberately ethical.

Although the university communications office refused to comment at this time, they will be releasing an official statement on Friday. Watch this space.