Magazine article Times Higher Education

Rich Get Richer.Income Gulf Widens as Philanthropy Fades: News

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Rich Get Richer.Income Gulf Widens as Philanthropy Fades: News

Article excerpt

Demise of matched funding leaves majority of institutions worse off. David Matthews reports.

Inequality among universities in terms of their fundraising incomes has grown hugely after the end of a matched funding scheme to boost philanthropy across the sector, a new report shows.

Even though more than two-thirds of 132 institutions saw their philanthropic income shrink during 2011-12, 10 Russell Group universities raised more than half a billion pounds between them, meaning the sector's total haul went up.

But the median average income from philanthropy more than halved, from Pounds 1.052 million in 2010-11 to Pounds 453,000 in 2011-12, according to Giving to Excellence: Generating Philanthropic Support for UK Higher Education 2011- 12, a survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Ross Group.

Forty-nine institutions saw their income fall by more than half, while another 26 suffered drops of between 20 and 50 per cent.

But overall, the sector's income was up by about Pounds 2 million to Pounds 544.2 million, and the amount of new funds pledged grew by 14 per cent to a record Pounds 774 million.

Shirley Pearce, the former vice-chancellor of Loughborough University and chair of a review group that produced a report on UK fundraising in September 2012, said that there was "more of a variation in performance" between institutions, a gulf that could increase in the future.

"What we're seeing here is a consequence of the end of the matched funding scheme," she explained.

The Pounds 148 million scheme, run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England for three years from August 2008, matched donations to universities up to a certain cap to encourage donors and build up alumni relations offices.

According to Sam Davies, director of development and alumni at the University of Brighton, the scheme boosted the institution's income but its demise "came too soon for us... we could have done with at least another year or so".

The proportion of new funds secured by the Russell Group, excluding the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, grew from 26 per cent in 2009-10 to 38 per cent in 2011-12, the report highlights.

This huge growth came at the expense of institutions with no mission group, which saw their share shrink from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, and Oxbridge itself, which dropped from 53 to 46 per cent. …

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