Campaign reaches £1.25bn

The Oxford Thinking fundraising campaign has now passed its initial target of £1.25 billion raised for the collegiate University.

The total raised so far is £1,299,512,525, or just under £1.3 billion.

This is the fastest that such an amount has been raised in European university history: the milestone has been reached in under eight years, and despite a global economic downturn.

Fundraising began in May 2004, and the campaign had its formal, public launch in May 2008, at which time £575m had been raised. The campaign passed the one billion pounds mark in October 2010.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: ‘We are enormously grateful to all those who have supported the campaign and who are helping us to secure Oxford’s place as a world-class university for generations to come.

‘When Oxford embarked upon the planning for the campaign in 2004, our aim of raising a minimum of £1.25 billion seemed ambitious, and perhaps rather daunting. The fact that we have been able to pass this target in only seven and a half years is testament to the strength of support for Oxford University around the world, as well as the hard work of our combined efforts as a collegiate University.’

Gifts of all sizes have helped to change the face of Oxford’s landscape with award-winning new buildings, enhanced college facilities, funded new scholarship schemes and secured academic posts.

56% of the total has come as gifts to the central University and 40% of the total has come as gifts to colleges. The rest represents 3% pending legacies and 1% to the Rhodes Trust.

49% of the total has come from UK sources, and 51% has come from overseas, reflecting Oxford’s global reach and its impact all over the world.

Alumni have played a key role in the campaign, contributing not only money but support and expertise. 16% of all alumni donated to Oxford in the last year – the highest participation rate of any UK university – and a third of all alumni have donated at some point.

However, many with no prior connection to Oxford contributed too. While 36% of the total came from Oxford alumni, 35% came from foundations and more than 23% was from supporters who had not been Oxford students. Many donors want to make a difference in the world by tackling 21st-century issues and challenges, and see Oxford as the best place to achieve that.

Planning is now underway as to the next phase of the campaign. Professor Nick Rawlins, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Affairs, said: ‘This is an incredible milestone – but the journey doesn’t stop. We are talking within the collegiate University and with our donors, alumni and supporters about where we go next.’