Billionaire's [Pounds Sterling]75m Gift to Help Poor Go to Oxford

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Clark Education Correspondent

AN internet billionaire has made one of the biggest charitable donations in British history to wipe out tuition fee increases for poor students at Oxford University.

Michael Moritz, who made his fortune through investments in websites such as Google, Yahoo, PayPal and LinkedIn, donated [pounds sterling]75million to fund annual scholarships worth [pounds sterling]33,000 each.

The first 100 bursaries will be awarded this autumn to students whose family income is less than [pounds sterling]16,000 and the scheme could benefit thousands.

Oxford graduate Mr Moritz ploughed [pounds sterling]8million into Google when it started out in the late 1990s and turned the investment into a [pounds sterling]6.3billion stake.

He was brought up by German-Jewish parents and said he owed his existence to the 'generosity of strangers'.

At a launch event in London he said: 'My father was plucked as a teenager from Nazi Germany and was able to attend a very good school in London entirely on scholarship. He then went on, again entirely thanks to scholarships, to study at Oxford, and had a PhD financed as well entirely from a scholarship.' The Sunday Times Rich List puts Mr Moritz's personal wealth at [pounds sterling]1.08billion. He recently disclosed he was suffering from a rare and incurable illness. Undergraduates granted the awards will be given a [pounds sterling]5,500 discount on Oxford's [pounds sterling]9,000 annual tuition fee as well as [pounds sterling]5,500 to cover living costs. …