A landmark gift to King’s College launches £100 million campaign

A landmark gift to King’s College launches £100 million campaign

  • Graduating students

£33 million gift from King’s alumnus will improve access for disadvantaged students.


King’s College has launched a £100 million fundraising campaign to improve student access, enhance its capacity as a provider of world-class research and to maintain its renowned historic buildings, such as the Gibbs Building and King’s College Chapel.

The gift of £33 million from a King’s alumnus was announced on 1 December during the campaign launch. It will finance the building of two new halls of residence with the rental income being recycled to seed a new student access and support fund. The gift is one of the most significant to the College in the modern era.

King’s is committed to ensuring that students from disadvantaged social or economic backgrounds do not face financial barriers to accepting a place at Cambridge or that limit their opportunities while studying here. King’s has among the highest percentage of state school educated undergraduates of any Oxbridge college (77%), but the College recognises there is still much more to be done to ensure greater access to Cambridge for talented students from less-privileged backgrounds.

Among the ambitions of the College’s campaign are:

  • to increase the undergraduate intake from 130 to 140 per year, reserving 10 places solely for talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • to provide annual bursaries of £3,000 to all of the College’s undergraduates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure these students can accept internships, which are often unpaid, and help them further their career goals; 
  • to launch a ‘post offer of a place at Cambridge but pre-A level exams’ tuition scheme for state school applicants. This is needed to reduce the much higher incidence of state school offer holders failing to attain their required A-level grades when compared with those in private education;
  • to support students through the new University transition programme which is expected to begin in autumn 2021.

These initiatives will account for £50 million of the £100 million being raised, with the balance being invested in additional teaching and research capacity, new buildings and maintaining the world-famous Chapel and Choir.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said of the King’s Campaign:  

"We need to make sure that Cambridge is open to all who have the intellectual potential to flourish here, now and for future generations. I am delighted that King’s is launching such an important initiative, and to see our ambitious plans for improving student support become a collective endeavour across the Collegiate University."