'Universities are becoming more aware of the power of scholarships'

February 24, 2006

Edinburgh's new vice-principal of development will crank up its fundraising efforts to support bursaries

The new vice-principal of development at Edinburgh University, Young Dawkins III, says the institution will step up its fundraising drive to allow it to support more student scholarships.

Brewing giants Scottish & Newcastle this week gave the university Pounds 250,000 to fund scholarships for 12 postgraduate students from Russia.

Edinburgh now puts £15 million into scholarships, but Mr Dawkins said the figure would rise still higher.

"We're now designing a major capital campaign, probably in the range of Pounds 300 million to £350 million, and one of its highest priorities will be establishing scholarships and bursaries at undergraduate and postgraduate level."

Mr Dawkins, a noted educational fundraiser in the US, came to Edinburgh last summer to gain international experience. He was latterly president of the University of New Hampshire Foundation, where in a single two-year campaign, he raised more than $102 million (£58.7 million).

He is wary of comparing the American and British systems. "The funding of education is quite different. But I believe European universities are becoming increasingly aware of the power of scholarships," he said.

"Edinburgh is one of the great universities in the world and is poised to do even more than it already has."

Mr Dawkins said scholarships and bursaries were vital to the transformational value of education. Edinburgh's principal, Tim O'Shea, has said that the new scholarships will do more than change 12 lives, they will help students who will go on to do "great things for Russia".

Mr Dawkins said: "I think we are moving in a very powerful direction."

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