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University contributes to record UK University fundraising total

Friday 05 May 2017


Since the launch of the University’s 600th Anniversary Campaign in 2011, graduates of the University of St Andrews have raised over £88 million to ensure that it continues to provide world-class teaching, learning and research for future generations.

The fundraising success of Scotland’s oldest university is mirrored across the higher education sector in the UK where – according to the Ross-CASE survey published recently – philanthropic giving to universities has now passed the £1 billion mark for the first time.

Our graduates – some of whom are paying higher fees than ever – now identify themselves as stakeholders in the University’s reputation, guardians of its future and partners of the fundraising team working to develop sustainable long-term relationships. Six per cent of St Andrews alumni made a donation last year alone, which is the third highest participation rate for universities in the UK.

Set within the context of the most challenging funding environment for universities in decades, our alumni have already helped us to realise the following major projects:

  • the newly opened School of Medical and Biological Sciences, which is supporting development of an easy-use tool aimed at helping health workers in low-income countries detect signs of blindness
  • the Orbital Diagnostics team at St Andrews have developed a device (the Scattered Light Integrated Collector) to reduce the time taken to test bacteria for resistance, which could help the fight against antibiotic resistance
  • the Ashworth Legacy Scholarship, which is supporting a postgraduate student who aims to help deliver accurate 3D screening of cancer drugs
  • research to identify variation in a P. knowlesi gene associated with severe P. knowlesi malaria
  • a new £10 million marine laboratory on the east sands, which will help cement Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in oceanic research and species protection.

Donations are also helping to fund a new Music Centre and the expansion of the Sports Centre with an eight-court sports arena and four-court indoor tennis centre – projects which might otherwise have forced a choice to be made between University development and frontline teaching and research.

Director of Development Robert Fleming says: “Our alumni understand better than anyone the power of education to change lives. The University of St Andrews aims to produce global citizens, and we’re proud to see so many choosing to give back by investing in higher education and its transformative potential.

“Every donation we receive represents not the end of a transaction, but a meaningful moment in a relationship. Our Alumni team has had to grow to support the quality of relationships we now enjoy, and we’re committed to working with our graduates to ensure we’re not only famous for the best student experience, but also for the best donor experience.”

Tricia King, Global Vice-President (CASE), says: “Philanthropic giving is now at the heart of UK university culture. It provides vital funds to enable the nation’s universities to invest in new ground-breaking research that pushes back the boundaries of knowledge, improves social mobility by widening access to degree study, and builds world class facilities.”