Annual Giving News

Changes to our Priority Fund Areas

We are committed to making sure that your donation is put to the best possible use for the needs of our students and the University as a whole. Three years ago, we developed six strategic priority funds to support the areas around the University where the need was greatest and we have been delighted to receive your support for these important areas. With the recent changes to Higher Education funding, the introduction of increased student fees and the launch of the University’s first ever fundraising campaign on the horizon, we felt now was the perfect time to review the ways in which your gifts make the greatest impact on the University. Additionally, in last year’s donor survey you told us that with such a large number of funds to choose from it was sometimes confusing and difficult to choose a fund to support. We listened to your feedback and are now improving your experience of supporting the University as a donor through a revision of our priority areas.

From 31st August, the six funds currently available will merge into three new priority funds and will be joined by a fourth priority fund; the Campaign for the Centre for Cancer Immunology. These new funds will still allow you to support the original priorities you currently give while also streamlining the number of funds available to help the University to provide greater flexibility to reach a broader range of students, ensuring that your gift always makes the greatest possible impact.

The nature of Higher Education and the needs of our students are always changing. As a result we need to be prepared to change along with these needs to provide the best possible support we can for our students and your University.

Q: What are the new funds I can support as a donor?

A: The new funds you can support are as follows:

Student Support (formerly The Opportunity Fund and Postgraduate Research Scholarships): We have merged The Opportunity Fund and Postgraduate Research Scholarships to create one fund that supports the recruitment of excellent postgraduate research students and the retention of students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels across all faculties at the University. We hold a commitment to enable more talented students to continue our world-leading research and to ensure that financial difficulties do not prevent students from continuing their education at Southampton. This fund will help us to do more of both.

Student Experience (formerly the Student Experience, Student Enterprise and The Library): Through combining the support we receive to these funds the University and, most importantly, our students will benefit from having one fund that is highly flexible and focused on their needs. The Student Experience Fund exists to provide support for student led projects, improvements to student facilities and equipment, including the University’s many libraries, and support for the University’s many student clubs and societies such as our ENACTUS student enterprise society and our Formula Student society. For our students these great experiences are linked to the world-class education they receive, which can play a pivotal role in shaping who our students will become after graduation.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Fund: This fund will not change under the new structure as support for the University, where the need is greatest, will always be a priority. As the nature of this fund is intended to be as flexible as possible it enables us to respond to challenges quickly and further resource for emerging opportunities as they become known to us. In the past this fund has helped launch the University’s Excel Placement Programme providing over 400 placement opportunities annually to our second and final year students. It has also supported projects such as the world-renowned Portus Field School in Rome, as well as a new Astrodome facility in the Astronomy and Physics department, helping current students to provide outreach and engagement opportunities to inspire the next generation of great thinkers.

The Campaign for the Centre for Cancer Immunology: The University of Southampton is the UK’s leading centre of excellence in the area of cancer immunology and is recognised for translating laboratory research through clinical trials into new treatments for patients suffering from the disease. Through treatments focused on strengthening the body’s immune system, the University of Southampton has been able to help patients beat the disease and to live longer, fuller lives. In the spring of 2015 the University will launch its first ever fundraising campaign (planned for completion in 2017) to raise £20 million to establish a new, world-leading, state of the art Centre for Cancer Immunology. The new centre will help bring together leading scientists and doctors from a range of disciplines that will help to extend the research opportunities and patient treatments within this area of cancer treatment.

Q: I would like to change which fund I currently support. How do I do this?

A: If you make a regular gift to the University and you are happy for your gift to transition into the new fund structure, as mentioned above, there is no need to contact our office as this will automatically take place on the 31st of August. If, however, you would like to switch your regular gift to one of the new funds please send our office an email with your preferences to or call our Annual Giving Manager, Katherine Carter, on 023 8059 9077.

If you make a single gift to the University each year, please choose one of the new funds at the time of making your next gift to the University.

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