Leading article: Private ambitions

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The Independent Online

Cambridge University's decision to launch a campaign to raise £1bn in private endowments is ambitious, to say the least. It is the first British university to emulate the American Ivy Leagues by mounting a big fundraising drive. Alison Richard, the vice chancellor, is right to try to tap alumni for more cash. At present, only 10 per cent of Cambridge's former students contribute to their alma mater. Like all universities, Cambridge is desperately underfunded. But the university should not be surprised if the new donors start to flex their muscles and ask to be given a clear idea of how the university is run.