Ex-student cuts fees for poor at Oxford university

 

Hundreds of the UK's poorest bright teenagers are to be given scholarships to attend Oxford after the university was handed a £75 million donation by a former student.

The prestigious institution has been gifted the funds by businessman and former journalist Michael Moritz and his novelist wife Harriet Heyman.

The money is set to be used to kick off a new £300 million scholarship programme to support students from the lowest income families through their studies, Oxford has announced.

It comes as tuition fees in England are tripled to a maximum of £9,000 per year, and amid fears that concerns about debt could still put some disadvantaged students off going to top universities.

Students receiving the new Moritz-Heyman scholarships will have no upfront study or living costs, receive financial support during the holidays and take part in a tailor-made internship programme, Oxford said.

In total, the package will be worth around £11,000 per year, with fees pegged at £3,500, the current fee level before the hike is introduced this autumn.

Oxford said that the £75 million donation was the "biggest philanthropic gift for undergraduate financial support in European history".

At an event to unveil the programme in central London, Mr Moritz said the aim of the initiative was to ensure that "every headteacher throughout the UK understands that there is no obstacle whatsoever for any of their students, any pupil, who has the academic ability and talent to take a place at Oxford, to be able to gain admission to the university".

There is now "no financial barrier" between any student and an Oxford education, he added.

Around one in 10 Oxford undergraduates, about 1,000 in total, come from homes with annual incomes below £16,000, and within three years it is expected that half of these students could receive one of the new scholarships, Oxford said.

Around 100 students will be given an award this autumn, and eventually, all students in this group could be covered.

Mr Moritz, who was previously a correspondent for Time magazine and is now chairman of Sequoia Capital, said: "We hope that these scholarships touch a lot more than just the individual recipients and beneficiaries of the awards.

"Because as those students graduate, and go on to pursue whatever their passion in life becomes, we hope that their work will then touch many more people, as they pursue careers in science, or in business, or in the arts."

Mr Moritz graduated from Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1976 with a degree in history.

He said that the personal reason behind his donation was that he had attended an "ordinary comprehensive school" in Cardiff, and was the only pupil in his year to go to Oxford.

"I would not be here today were it not for the generosity of strangers," Mr Moritz said.

As a teenager, his father had been "plucked" from Nazi Germany and able to attend a good London school on a scholarship, before winning a further award to study at Oxford, he said.

Mr Moritz added that he also had a cousin who was taken from terrible circumstances and given help to complete his studies.

"I think it is all to easy not to remember those that can be so easily forgotten," he said.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Administration Assistant / Apprenticeship Industry

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: NVQ Assessor

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Private Training Provider off...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own