Oxford gets biggest ever donation

A Jewish philanthropist has pledged a landmark £75million for a scholarship programme to help underprivileged students go to Oxford University, in what is being described as the biggest such gift in European history.

Venture capitalist Michael Moritz, who studied at Christ Church College and is now based in California, said he hoped the funding would cater “to the dreams and aspirations of individuals determined to excel; while also safeguarding the academic excellence on which Oxford’s global reputation stands”.

The scholarship programme, funded by Mr Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman, will be matched by the university and is expected to help more than 500 students within three years with their fees and living costs.

Mr Moritz, a founder investor in Google, said he was inspired by his father’s experience. “He was plucked as a teenager from Nazi Germany. He was able to attend a very good school in London entirely on a scholarship. He went on to study at Oxford and had a PhD financed entirely from a scholarship.”

    Last updated: 11:03am, July 12 2012