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The campaign for the University and Colleges of Cambridge, the largest in Cambridge’s history, has closed after surpassing its £2 billion target.

From Europe to Antarctica, the campaign has successfully turned philanthropy into global impact reaching every continent.

From bursaries, scholarships, and new academic posts to new initiatives, buildings and facilities, philanthropy is ensuring that Collegiate Cambridge continues to serve society through academic excellence.

None of this is possible without the vision and generosity of donors, volunteers and alumni like you. Thank you for believing in Cambridge.

Global impact

Philanthropy has been vital to Cambridge's success throughout its history. The foresight of our benefactors today continues to enable us to respond with ideas that change the world.

More than ever our work takes place on a global scale. We nurture leaders in Africa, influence cancer treatment in Asia, mitigate interruptions to education in areas of conflict and help protect cultures, landscapes and species across the planet.

Journey around the map below to discover Cambridge's impact on every continent.

EUROPE: The Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP)

Delivering a vision for Europe’s land and seascapes where biodiversity and ecosystem processes are restored for the benefit of people and nature.

The ELP was established in 2016, thanks to generous support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

Projects receiving funding from the ELP are already showing the benefits of restoring nature at the landscape-scale.

In the Danube Delta, dam removal is restoring river connectivity, improving river flow for migratory fish species, and allowing restored vegetation to support spawning grounds. The translocation of keystone species like water buffalo, Konik horses, kulan and the eagle owl is helping to create a diverse mosaic of habitats for other species while also providing opportunities for nature-based tourism.

On the coast of Southwest Turkey, a project has restored caves used as breeding habitats by the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

These initiatives are underpinned by capacity development, lesson learning, and robust monitoring to determine what does and does not work in restoration, with results made available through open access to help build knowledge in the restoration field.

ARCTIC & ANTARCTICA: Enhancing our understanding of the Polar Regions

The establishment, through the Viking Polar Marine Geoscience Fund, of the first fully-funded professorship based at Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) will ensure the critical work of the institute continues in perpetuity.

This new post will enhance scientific leadership in the Polar Regions and enable the development of new lines of research into the past, present and future behaviour of polar ice sheets, sea ice and ocean circulation.

The Polar Museum is the UK’s only museum dedicated to the Arctic and Antarctic. It communicates SPRI's multidisciplinary climatic, social and cultural research to non-specialist audiences and with international reach.

SPRI’s Picture Library houses one of the most comprehensive collections of historical photographs of the Polar Regions and British polar exploration.

With around 100,000 images, it is a unique resource for research. Its holdings have been integrated closely with evolving museum displays.

Philanthropic giving has supported many of the museum’s activities, such as funding to purchase and preserve for the nation the photographs taken by Captain Scott on his final expedition to the South Pole.

NORTH AMERICA: Trastuzumab, curing breast cancer with less cost.

Reducing unnecessary breast cancer therapy, side effects and treatment costs while maintaining survival rates. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Each year more than 500,000 women worldwide die of the disease. Aggressive treatment strategies have doubled breast cancer survival rates since the 1970s, but many women are over-treated, resulting in unnecessary long-term side effects and excessive healthcare costs.

Partial breast treatment has been shown to cause fewer side effects, halve exposure to radiation for the heart and produce excellent disease control. Cambridge-led clinical trials have identified those breast cancer patients who can be treated with reduced-volume radiation and reduced-duration anti-HER2 antibody (trastuzumab) therapy.

This research has directly changed practice in the UK, Canada, USA, Europe and India, underpinning a global de-escalation in breast cancer therapy that spares eligible patients from unnecessary side effects, preserves excellent survival rates, and reduces treatment costs significantly.

Partial breast radiotherapy is now used routinely in some of the largest and most technologically advanced cancer centres worldwide including Canada (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre), Canada Cancer Centres, and the USA (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). 

Trastuzumab has held World Health Organization Essential Medicine designation since November 2015. But the cost associated with 12 months of treatment precludes its widespread use in low- and middle-income countries.

Cambridge researchers have demonstrated that for some women, six months of treatment is as effective as 12 months — directly increasing the use of the drug in several countries, including India and South Africa.

Philanthropic support for our research and facilities has led to this global improvement in treatment for women with breast cancer.

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA: Advancing research in regions of crucial importance to our planet

Inspired by the passionate teaching experienced as an undergraduate at Cambridge, alumna Jessica Sainsbury (Jesus, 1989) endowed a new lectureship in the Anthropology of Amazonia.

The gift builds on the legacy of renowned scholar Stephen Hugh-Jones, whose research on the indigenous peoples of northwest Amazonia, particularly the Pira-Pirana people, has been fundamental to securing and sharing indigenous heritage in this region.

The Jessica Sainsbury Lectureship allows the Department of Social Anthropology to give this region the weight it deserves in our debates on human, social and cultural diversity. The post will ensure that Cambridge can contribute to vital research and dialogues around indigenous environmental stewardship and human rights within the region.

Crucially, the lectureship ensures that the Department can provide world-class teaching on Amazonia and welcome doctoral students whose research focuses on this pivotal region.

Dr Natalia Buitron became the first Assistant Professor of the Anthropology of Amazonia earlier this year and will carry on the long-standing tradition of Amazonianist scholarship at the Department.

“Amazonia is at the centre of crucial debates concerning the ecological crisis and the future of politics. My aim is to foster expansive, inclusive conversations about the region with students and colleagues across the University and beyond.”
— Dr Natalia Buitron

AFRICA: Tackling a devastating parasite in Northern Kenya

Camels are vital to the economic and social fabric of this region. Any threat to herd health can destabilise communities — and the nomadic way of life. So when camels started to get sick, action was needed.

Dr Joel Ltilitan Bargul is a recipient of a THRiVE-2 post-doctoral fellowship from Cambridge-Africa. This University programme supports African researchers and promotes collaborations between African countries and Cambridge.

He has made it his life’s work to understand more about how parasites are transmitted — and attempt to fight back.

With vital funding from the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund, Bargul’s studies discovered that camel flies transmit the Anaplasma parasite. He discovered that around nine out of ten camels are infected with these parasites, which cause the disease anaplasmosis in ruminants, dogs and cattle.

He was able to show that camel flies carrying the Anaplasma parasite can transmit it to mice and rabbits via blood-feeding, demonstrating for the first time that keds are the primary vector for the disease in the North Kenyan region.

He is determined to continue the work that he hopes will contribute to disease control and guide policymakers in pest control programmes, transforming the fortunes of local communities.

The economic, social and health costs of these diseases are vast. Along with the cost to human health, they affect meat, milk, hide and crop production, as infected animals such as cattle are unable to work in the fields.

The Cambridge-Africa programme has forged partnerships in 50 African Institutions across 18 countries. It has a network of more than 200 Cambridge collaborators and has provided support for more than 50 African PhD fellows and 75 Africa-based post-doctoral fellows.

Funding is due to end on the Cambridge-Africa PhD Scholarship Scheme next year.

CENTRAL ASIA: Helping students from areas of instability continue their education

Thanks to the Cambridge Trust and the Cambridge Refugee Scholarship Campaign (CRSC) talented applicants from areas of conflict and instability around the world can access world-class further education.

Approximately ten studentships are awarded each year to eligible undergraduate and postgraduate applicants through the Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship programme. The full-cost award covers tuition fees, maintenance costs, and in some instances assistance with upfront travel and immigration costs.

The University welcomed the first cohort of scholars in 2019 from countries including; Syria, Palestine, Nigeria, Uganda and Afghanistan.

Amongst them was Humaira Rahbin (Lucy Cavendish, 2019), who came to Cambridge from Afghanistan. Humaira was working as a Policy Adviser for a USAID programme, which included developing government agencies’ policies in favour of women. She hoped that her studies at Cambridge would assist her in reaching her goal of becoming a leader in Afghanistan and contributing to its policy-making process.

Humaira has since graduated with an MPhil in Public Policy and now works as a researcher of human rights at the Centre for Information Resilience. She has recently been selected as the inaugural scholar for the Afghanistan Observatory Fellowship, set up to provide a platform for scholars to give voice to the millions of Afghans displaced by war and poverty.

AUSTRALIA: NRICH — Cambridge’s flagship maths outreach project

Supporting children, teachers and parents across the world with free mathematics education resources.

NRICH has gained a global reputation for developing and delivering problem-solving mathematics education resources. This innovative collaboration between the Faculties of Mathematics and Education covers all stages of school education, from early years through primary and secondary education to the transition from school to university.

NRICH problems are accessible but encourage rich mathematical thinking, exploration and extension. The activities are designed to encourage discussion and discovery and to build students’ perseverance, mathematical reasoning, ability to apply knowledge creatively in unfamiliar contexts, and confidence in tackling new challenges.

NRICH resources include extensive teacher support and guidance materials. Resources are also mapped to the curriculum and this enables teachers to introduce creative and engaging activities in the daily reality of the mathematics classroom.

In Australia, resources map the NRICH tasks to the Australian Curriculum for the number and algebra strand, the measurement and geometry strand and the statistics and probability strand.

With users in over 200 countries and jurisdictions, NRICH had already reached a significant audience. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as educators around the world recommended NRICH resources, the programme saw a huge surge in use. The NRICH website attracted over 10 million visits and just under 33 million page views in the 2020/21 school year, supporting students as they worked from home and then as they returned to classrooms.

NRICH’s world-leading online materials are free and open to everyone, but these ground-breaking education resources require a huge investment of time and expertise to create. It receives no government funding and NRICH is supported by donations and grants from organisations and individuals who share our commitment to making a positive difference to mathematics education for students worldwide.

“Philanthropy has played a vital role in the Colleges and University for centuries, and the scale of what’s been achieved through this campaign deserves to be celebrated. This campaign represents an extraordinary milestone in Cambridge’s history.”



Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope

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Campaign stories

Delve into these story collections showcasing the impact of the campaign across Cambridge and beyond.

From life-changing scholarships and new facilities that are transforming the student experience, to new research frontiers and exhibitions that change how we view the world, we hope you enjoy exploring what has been achieved together.


Supporting our students

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Building for the future

Posts and programmes