OXFORD's last all-women college is to get nearly Pounds 2 million in donations, but is still seeking support for science and engineering teaching, says its principal.
St Hilda's College, which earlier this year narrowly rejected the appointment of male academics, this week announced donations from author Dame Catherine Cookson, who has given Pounds 100,000; Pauline Chan, a Hong Kong benefactor who has pledged Pounds 700,000; and from Rosalind Hill, a former professor at Queen Mary and Westfield College who was an undergraduate at St Hilda's, and who is thought to have left the college a substantial legacy of about Pounds 1 million in perpetuity.
Dr Chan's gift secures two college fellowships in economics and physics, which she endowed through an earlier gift in the 1980s, in perpetuity. It is too early, says the college, to know how the remaining gifts will be used.
Earlier this year Elizabeth Llewellyn-Smith, St Hilda's principal, warned that the college might have to drop subjects where it struggled to find women fellows. It has none in chemistry, where it needs three, nor in engineering. The university's equal opportunities policy means it cannot advertise for women only, while recent female university appointments in shortage subjects chose mixed colleges.
St Hilda's can only guarantee a female appointment at the college by paying for one itself, with Pounds 1 million needed to endow such a fellowship.