A Welsh-born Silicon Valley mogul has pledged $116.5-million to Oxford University to preserve low-cost tuition for poorer students as the prestigious school’s fees more than double this year, The Guardian and the BBC report.
The gift from Michael Moritz, chairman of tech-focused venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, and his wife, writer Harriet Heyman, is believed to be the largest ever for undergraduate financial aid in European higher education.
Oxford tuition is set to rise to about $14,000 in the coming school year. The Moritz-Heyman gift will establish scholarships, available to students accepted to Oxford whose families earn less than $25,000 a year, that keep tuition at the current rate of about $5,400 and cover recipients’ living costs.
The university has pledged matching funds from its endowment and will seek to raise an additional $78-million for the scholarship program.
Mr. Moritz, who earned a history degree at Oxford after attending a public school in Wales, called the effort a philanthropy-based “fresh approach” to U.K. student funding that “cater[s] to the dreams and aspirations of individuals determined to excel, while also safeguarding the academic excellence on which Oxford’s global reputation stands.”