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Warwick seeks £50 Million by 50th birthday to tackle world’s biggest challenges

50Forward: Giving to WarwickIn 2015 The University of Warwick will celebrate its 50th birthday and it has already got a gift in mind. It is seeking a total of £50 million in donations - but it will use those donations in a series of new initiatives designed to take on and resolve major challenges facing our world.

Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said:

“I have a question and it goes like this. Just suppose we are in a period in which the future of human life on the planet is seriously threatened – then are the world’s universities really doing all they could to mitigate and even head off the risks? So far as I’m concerned, it’s a rhetorical question. As a leading University, we have an immense obligation. As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2015, I believe that a university like Warwick is well placed to nurture the next generation of global decision makers and to identify solutions to some of the pressing challenges confronting the world. Of course, a single university can’t do everything. But, as global citizens we can and must play our part.”

Professor Margot Finn, Warwick’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Access, Widening Participation and Development said:

“A fundamental mission of universities is our role as engines for the emancipation of human potential. This duty of care towards our students at every level of study is closely entwined with our research mission. Without the freedom to gain high-level skills of analysis and interpretation, question received wisdoms, and to ask unasked questions, even the very brightest learners will be unable to devise new solutions to the world’s intractable problems. Warwick is fundamentally about providing students with those freedoms. We are fortunate at Warwick that we can build on an excellent base of existing philanthropic support for our students. Since 2007 525 undergraduates have graduated from Warwick with the benefit of a full donor-funded scholarship, based on financial need.”

Warwick’s 50 Forward campaign launches today, Thursday 16th June 2011, and more details can be found at:

Some of the programmes Warwick wants to develop with the £50 million are:

  • Research to improve the health of people in resource poor communities
  • Even more collaboration with our local hospital partners and health organisations to drive up the quality of healthcare in Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Working with local communities to reduce rates of diabetes and obesity in the West Midlands
  • Innovating in bio-medical cell biology to identify new treatments for cancer
  • Maximising our strengths in life and social sciences to improve nutrition and reduce hunger in the UK and in the developing world
  • Creating a world-class Life Sciences facility to harness applied research into food security to ensure the supply of sufficient, safe and nutritious food
  • Expanding our work in biotechnology to develop biosensors to improve crop yields
  • Understanding how to control viruses that affect human and animal wellbeing
  • Finding renewable energy sources and developing new techniques for energy efficiency
  • Gaining new insights into human behaviour to help policy makers
  • Extending the Warwick in Africa teaching programme

The £50 million will also be used to ensure students can play their role in the University of Warwick community as it seeks to address these challenges by:

• Providing new £1000 undergraduate bursaries which facilitate international study or research experience to enhance employability

• And creating £3000 pa undergraduate scholarships to the most exceptional students from their second year of study

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

PR82 16h June 2011