Target: £8 million
£8 million is the target for student support in the 750th Anniversary Campaign - to help with the College's goal of continuing to attract the world's best students at undergraduate and graduate level, regardless of their financial background. As of November 1st 2013, £6.8 million has been raised towards the £8 million target.
The College is committed to ensuring that students do not fail to complete their degree because they, or their parents, experience financial difficulties. Cuts in funding to higher education coupled with increases in fees have placed additional financial burdens on students. To meet this challenge and to ensure that admissions continue to be based solely on academic merit, Merton must stand ready to offer bursaries and grant support on a far more extensive scale than before.
Today, the changing environment in fees and funding means that we must redouble our engagement with philanthropic partners in order to ensure that we have the support in place to attract the world's best students. Merton has responded to these challenges by creating a new Undergraduate Student Support Fund which encompasses Undergraduate Bursaries as well as vital access and outreach work.
Together, Merton and the University are offering the most generous support package of fee reductions and bursaries in the country. It amounts to almost £10,000 for students in their first year and £6,300 in further years. This support is crucial to ensure that the brightest students will always be able to study at Merton. Income for undergraduate bursaries used to come from the University 'top slicing' from incoming students' fees, but the Colleges and the University are now jointly responsible for funding the increased bursary/fee waiver packages. These increased costs will be spread across Colleges proportionately based on total Undergraduate population and not the number of actual bursary holders.
Merton's commitment to pay for these bursaries for 2012-2013 has been £90,000. . Even before increased fees, student support in terms of hardship, travel and other grants cost the College£71,000 in 2011-2012.
The target for the new Merton Undergraduate Student Support Fund is £3.2 million. Only then will there be sufficient income to pay for the the new undergraduate funding needs. The College is hugely grateful that Sir Howard Stringer has recently generously donated £1 million towards the Undergraduate Student Support Fund.
The University of Oxford has recently received a significant pledge of £75 million, from Christ Church alumnus Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman, towards the funding of bursaries for the most financially disadvantaged undergraduate students. The gift will be made to the University in three instalments of £25 million, the first of which has already been received. Each subsequent instalment is conditional upon the collegiate University raising a further £50 million for undergraduate student support. Merton's new Undergraduate Student Support Fund, supporting student bursaries, hardship and Access, will leverage this money 100%.
In addition to the new 2012/2013 bursaries and fee waivers, the University/College will continue to subsidise each UK/EU undergraduate by more than £7,000 every year.
Merton currently has a slightly higher proportion of Graduate Students than Undergraduate; we are the only Oxford College with Graduate and Undergraduate students proportioned as such. Around 50% of Merton's Graduates are funded, compared to the University average of 30%, but this is not enough. Research Council Funding in the UK is continuing to decrease. Postgraduate fees are also rising above inflation, and with record Undergraduate fees having been introduced this academic year, additional Graduate Funding is imperative.
The University of Oxford has ring-fenced £40 million for 5 years to act as challenge money to the collegiate University to raise money for Graduate Scholarships. Much like the University's Teaching Fund for Fellowships, moneys raised for Graduate Scholarships will be matched by the University's Graduate Scholarship Fund at a 60:40 (donor:University) ratio.
Like the University, Merton places the funding of more graduate scholarships high on its strategic agenda and has a target to raise £2.6 million over the next two years. With the 60:40 split, £2.6 million of endowment from Merton will be matched with £1.7 million from the University which will produce £150,000 or five full graduate scholarships per year.
If you would like to join us in supporting these ambitions, you can make a donation online or by contacting the development office on +44 (0) 1865 276316.
If you would like to discuss anything further, please contact: