Oxford gets biggest donation in its history
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D. D. GUTTENPLAN
Oxford University announced Wednesday a £75 million donation from Michael Moritz, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and his wife, Harriet Heyman.
The gift, worth about $115 million, will provide financial assistance to undergraduates from low-income backgrounds. The donation, the biggest grant for student support in the university's modern history, is expected to be combined with Oxford's own commitment of £75 million and a campaign to raise an additional £150 million, according to a university statement.
Together, they should add up to a fund of £300 million for undergraduate financial assistance, allowing Oxford to compete with elite US universities in offering admissions where an applicant's financial situation is not considered, and encouraging applications from poorer students who may be discouraged by the British government's recent move to triple tuition fees at English universities.
Starting this autumn, any student admitted to Oxford whose family's annual income is below £16,000 would be eligible for a Moritz-Heyman Scholarship. In addition to receiving financial support of £11,000 per year, students will be placed in internships.
"This is designed as a pathway to help students go from their high school classroom to their eventual professions," Moritz said. He is the chairman of Sequoia Capital and an early investor in Google, LinkedIn, YouTube and PayPal. In June 2008, Moritz and Heyman donated $50 million to Christ Church College at Oxford, Moritz's alma mater.
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