The newsletter for Reading donors
M AT T E R S
The future of Higher Education funding
A very warm welcome to Giving Matters, the University’s donor newsletter. The most important message in this publication is an enormous ‘thank you’ to our donors around the world. Your generosity makes possible so many activities that enhance every aspect of the University’s work: our teaching and learning programmes, cutting-edge research into some of the world’s most pressing issues, increasing our contribution to the global knowledge economy and, quite simply, allowing the most talented students and staff to get the most out of themselves and their time at the University of Reading. In this issue you’ll read about the breadth of opportunities created by gifts to the University. Our Annual Fund continues to thrive, enhancing the student experience with a number of the exciting projects it has supported featured both within these pages and on the website. The articles on page 8 to 11 demonstrate the variety of work our corporate and trust donors fund specifically, such as the Diageo Scholarships within the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development, and the research our donors have enabled in the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Nutrition, into the importance of diet in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer.
With the environment for higher education and its funding in flux, I’m delighted to say that Reading is in a strong position to meet these new challenges. We will continue to offer the best possible teaching and pursue the most important and original research agendas. As donors, you allow us to raise our sights even higher, making possible so many life-changing opportunities. My thanks, again, for your support – I hope you enjoy reading about how you and others are making a difference.
Professor Gordon Marshall Vice-Chancellor and Reading Pioneer
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Blandford Club | Reading Pioneers Features
The Blandford Club recognises all donors who make a regular commitment to the Annual Fund. By making a regular donation, you allow us to plan for the future with a greater degree of certainty.
The Reading Pioneers are individual donors who lead philanthropy to the University with gifts of £1,000 or more each academic year; a commitment which allows Reading to build on its success as one of the top 200 universities in the world.
Clare Carver and Simon Barbour Clare (BSc Psychology, 2008) worked for Explore Learning, a private tuition company, and is now at Oxford Brookes University studying for a PGCE. Simon (BA Politics and International Relations, 2008) works as a civil servant at the MOD. Whilst at Reading he was Reading University Boat Club (RUBC) President and Reading University Students’ Union Sports Federation President. He currently coaches the novice men at RUBC. Simon and Clare both row competitively, and direct their donations to the Boat Club.
Dominic Malsom Dominic (BSc Zoology and Psychology, 1991) is Vice-President of Operations at Warner Bros – responsible for recent bigscreen successes including Harry Potter and Inception – where he has worked for the last 14 years. His is currently responsible for operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the International Pictures Division, which release films to exhibitors. He is based in London and travels frequently to Europe and Los Angeles.
How do you think you have been influenced by your years at Reading? How do you think you have been influenced by your years at Reading? Clare: Getting a degree was important for me as I worked in a graduate role for two years, and am now studying on a postgraduate course. I started rowing at university and I met Simon at RUBC, so that had quite a big impact on me. Simon: I am undoubtedly more confident, and my whole experience at Reading, both academic and extra-curricular, has definitely made me more employable. At every job interview I have attended I’ve used examples from my time with the Boat Club or experience within seminars to show evidence of competencies. Could you describe some of your best memories of Reading? Clare: Going out to the Students’ Union, often in fancy dress! Also coxing a novice crew at Henley Royal Regatta and a women’s crew the next year at Henley Women’s Regatta. Simon: Most are tied to the Boat Club. I think my most memorable moment was winning the coxed four at the British Universities and Colleges Sports Regatta in 2006 – we were way down in fifth at halfway but fought back to win on practically the last stroke! I also really enjoyed living in Windsor Hall in my fresher year. What inspired you to start donating to the University? Clare: I got a phone call from a student! It was something I had intended to do anyway, as I remember the Boat Club really struggling for money when I was there. Simon: I remember how desperate we were for money as a club whilst I was a student – when I arrived in 2005 the majority of the boats were around 10–15 years old. How do you feel your gift is making a difference? Clare: I just wanted current students to have better resources than we had – and just three years on the equipment is so much better! Simon: I see the Reading boathouse quite regularly and am amazed at the quality of the boat stock there now – it’s undoubtedly one of the best-equipped student clubs in the country. The club still needs a few more boats though, so I’m glad I’m helping to contribute to the purchase of these.
It has been enormously influential. People keep asking me how I ended up in the film industry after a degree in zoology and psychology. The honest answer is that Reading gave me a broad set of transferable skills I could apply in a business environment. There isn’t a huge difference between analysing the statistical significance of crayfish behaviour and the performance of a film at the international box office. Perhaps more importantly it taught me how to present, deliver an argument and influence my peers. Could you describe some of your best memories of Reading? My best memories probably shouldn’t be repeated, in print at least! Let’s just say I grew up more than most people during my time at St George’s Hall. Even old university friends still make reference to it. Perhaps the memory that best summed up my time was a zoology lecturer telling us we were the least academically gifted group they had had for some years, but probably the group that would achieve the most in life. Who knows if we proved him right? What inspired you to start donating to the University? For me it was about trying to give something back. My last year of university was the first year the student loan was introduced. Prior to that I was fortunate enough to qualify for the full student grant and I had a scholarship that assisted me financially though university. Without that financial support I may not have been able to go to university. In this era of spiralling education costs I wanted to contribute to a fund that would support students attending the University from every background, including those financially disadvantaged. How do you feel your gift is making a difference? I hope, that in some small way, it may make a difference to someone deciding to attend the University if they are worried about money, or relieve them of some of the financial pressures so that they can enjoy their university life, the same way I did.
If you are interested in becoming a Reading Pioneer or Blandford Club member, please contact: Becki McKinlay, Deputy Director, Annual Giving firstname.lastname@example.org 1
Thank you for your support Your generosity has transformed the lives of thousands of students studying here today. Here is a snapshot of just some of the projects your donations have helped to support…
Student support has never been so important. With increasing costs to higher education, the Annual Fund offers a range of bursaries, hardship funds and scholarships to students who would otherwise not be able to consider going to University.
Innovative teaching and learning captures the imagination of our students and staff, and challenges the way in which they approach their subject. Many departments are now implementing innovative teaching projects that are having a huge impact on our students.
Extra-curricular activities are a key part of the student experience; they create life-long interests and lasting memories, and teach new skills that go beyond what is learnt in the academic environment.
nd l Fu a u en nn y be nA d a a f lr e ed ard have a riet y o w a I be e va c t. oje w id d to r e a p t ic s e h y as s tm trat ials.’ e li g f Cl r s d o o u t s l a en upp s to il mater ‘I w ar t m to s lt p h t u e c s n re rea turer, D gra t he ou t g d Le c n i n us g a ich o ll s , n i ch N tea t thew Dr
‘S e e ing h ow has muc ma d h th e i t re t he e ch con ally il d r e fi e d n n Mar enc j oy a k Bi e b t l e fo o co g na l l, f o r a ch ur t h mor y ea r e .’ , In
Sports Ambassadors – students share their sporting expertise in local schools
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For 40 students, taking part in an extra-curricular activity has become more than simply learning a new skill, as an Annual Fund grant has enabled them to gain a coaching qualification in their chosen sport. These students now have the confidence and expertise necessary to coach their fellow team mates, giving them extra training to help them develop and succeed as a team. With this new qualification, these 40 students have also been able to volunteer in local schools, where they can demonstrate their skills to school children who may not have experienced particular sports before. Mark Lyford , who is the PE Department Leader at Oxford Road School, is delighted with the results of this Annual Fund initiative: ‘This project has benefited my students and staff as the university students have such a great knowledge of their sports. It’s been a fantastic scheme’.
Digital model of Rome An Annual Fund grant to the Classics Department has enabled the purchase of high-tech equipment to develop a virtual model of Rome. ‘Virtual Rome’ will bring ancient Rome to life, showing in detail how areas of the city and structures within it relate to one another. This ground breaking work is capturing not only the minds of our students, but attracting global interest too. Created by Dr Matthew Nicholls, this project will be the world’s most up to date, and detailed, virtual model of Rome, and will allow historians to explore and reconstruct key historical events. National Geographic Italy and BBC History magazine have both published articles highlighting the project.
Model United Nations
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The Annual Fund supported 30 students from the University’s Model United Nations Club to attend the annual NottsMUN conference. The conference, held at The University of Nottingham, is an annual event which draws over 300 delegates from the whole of the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and Nigeria. The Model United Nations conference provides an enjoyable environment for students to act like real UN delegates in a mock forum, where they can debate issues based on their country’s foreign policy. Adam Pasierbek is one of the students to have attended: ‘The NottsMUN conference has been one of the most fruitful experiences of my studies. It not only gave me an excellent opportunity to practice essential skills such as public speaking and researching for information, but also a unique chance to compare them with those of other delegates.’ The delegates have since been able to share their experiences with fellow members of the Reading Model United Nations Club, who continue to study and discuss global issues throughout the academic year.
‘ T he proj ec t selfw as di s c us e o ver y of s o ! I t w f u l , e n li cial ghte as a me d S am ning g ia w an an d ithin reat ins A d m t h a Ro a ch i b g ht ini s t bus ance r at io e r t s o n i i n n to th ess.’ , t hi n fo r rd y e wo ear, r ld BA M ana
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Future 50 – Reading students share their entrepreneurial skills with local business The Annual Fund is investing in enterprise by supporting some of the University’s most promising entrepreneurs. The Future 50 scheme provides innovative training for the University’s top 50 entrepreneurial students to test out their skills in the real world. Working with local small businesses, the first cohort of Future 50 students were trained as social media consultants with the task of helping their host business to make the most of new mediums for marketing and customer engagement such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each student selected for this particular project has spent 80 hours working alongside their host in the business, gaining invaluable insight into small and start-up businesses, while delivering research, consultancy and a final report of recommendations to the business.
Transforming lives Donors and bursary recipients compare their University experiences International Masters Bursaries The International Masters Bursaries were established to award three students each year with a grant of £10,000 to support the tuition costs of a masters degree. Reading has always been a truly international university with donors from 66 countries, and we are delighted to continue this tradition through these essential bursaries.
Wazita Scott from Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines is studying for an MSc in Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate in the Department of Meteorology. She received an International Masters Bursary.
I don’t think climate change was an issue when Paul Armitage
(pictured right) was studying in the 80s. It is now a major focus, and in the future I would like to work with other scientists to help improve regional climate models specific to the Caribbean. The improvement of regional climate models would help to facilitate a thorough investigation of the impact of climate change on the region. This will help steer Caribbean governments on how to properly manage and adapt to climate change.
Paul Armitage (BSc Physics & Meteorology, 1986) is the
Petroleum Engineering Manager at Gas De France. Paul is a Blandford Club member.
Wazita is right that climate change wasn’t perhaps the major issue it is today, at least in the mind of the general public. In I became interested in meteorology whilst doing my underacademic circles it was very much alive, though, with a lot of graduate degree in Barbados and this deepened during a summer internship for the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology great work being done. Even on the undergraduate course I remember working with ice core data to examine warming and and Hydrology. I was attracted to Reading as it has a very high reputation in this area, and I was encouraged by an inspirational cooling periods in the Earth’s past, and there was a course of lectures on climate modelling (they were hard!). lecturer, who happened to be an alumna of Reading.
A multidisciplinary ethos permeates through teaching and
research at Reading. One of the challenges is being taught by lecturers from a variety of backgrounds: physics, maths and geography to name a few. The programme also equips me for the working world, working with peers and learning how to work under pressure and to a tight schedule.
This is my first time out of the Caribbean, and being away from
home is a great experience for me. I experienced the muchtalked-about ‘culture shock’, both pleasant and unpleasant. Coming from a warm climate, I had to adjust to the coldest weather I ever faced. While trying to adjust to this cold weather, I had to adjust to a new lecturing system at the same time. The workload of the programme is heavy and hectic, but it provides a fantastic learning experience.
You could tell that even the undergraduate courses were underpinned by great research. Both final-year projects I did were relevant to the ongoing research of the supervising academic staff. It was ‘cutting-edge’ – at the time, weather satellite data was in the early years of being used routinely and we had opportunities to work using it. The Department of Meteorology had great weekly sessions called ‘Current weather’ where the whole department had an opportunity to meet and interact. I enjoyed my time at Reading a lot. First and foremost, I met my wife here – we were both students together. Also, I had a great time with sport. I was part of the judo club here, and helped run that in my second and third years of university and that was a great time.
In the course of my work now, I recruit graduates and one of the things I’ve learned is that diversity and inclusivity is really The International Masters Bursary gave my dream the financial important and I think that as many people as possible should impetus required to be actionable. Now I’m learning what I am get access to higher education. This provides the best chance interested in, and am closer to achieving my career goals. Thank of maintaining academic standards and advancing research, as you Reading alumni! well as equipping members of the workforce.
Transforming lives Features
Anniversary Bursaries The Anniversary Bursaries were established in 2010 to enable alumni to mark a milestone anniversary since their graduation with a gift. We received an overwhelming response from the classes of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000, raising £16,000. Their support has allowed us to pay tuition fees for five first-year students from underprivileged backgrounds, one in each faculty. This special campaign will now run each year.
Sg Hs Cn The Rev Ivor Cornish (BSc Chemistry, 1961), now retired, was a non-stipendiary curate of several parishes after being ordained 21 years ago. He was also a teacher and previously worked in hospital biochemistry. Ivor is a Blandford Club member. As Chris (pictured right) says I do think methods of study have changed, but there was always an element of being collaborative. I had to work very hard and the teaching was very good indeed. I still remember some of the lecturers and even lectures. I must say I didn’t know people used Facebook to help with their studies – I hope they still use books too! The University was my first experience of getting outside into the wider world. I’d not been away from home and it opened up new horizons. You meet many new people and I made friends who’ve remained for life. The experience also shaped me profoundly, in that I became a Christian while at Reading and was both baptised and confirmed there. I remember the University very fondly; it was a wonderful place, a lovely setting and very friendly, and you still get that now. I love coming back. I’m pleased to be able to support the Anniversary Bursaries as it’s more difficult for young people all round. I give because I’m so grateful for what I received. I’m phoned by students and I’ve met some of them too. It’s always so lovely talking to them and they really are a credit to the University.
Chris Collins is completing a Science Foundation Year and has received an Anniversary Bursary. I would say a major difference between now and when Ivor was at university is the way we study. My laptop is always on and you can keep in touch with friends all the time. I’m never lonely and I can get instant feedback on work. I even discuss my studies with friends at other universities. I think study techniques have become more collaborative. The University of Reading offers a very flexible path on which I can create my degree, more so than all the other universities I was looking at. I also chose Reading because I knew it had excellent lab facilities and the latest equipment, and it is wellrenowned for science. My time at Reading has been a very enlightening experience for me, both academically and socially. Life here is very different to the ‘structured freedom’ of sixth form. I’m really enjoying the challenge of learning to stand on my own two feet. I don’t have financial support from my family and so I would have really struggled to see myself through university. I am now able to consider a career in biomedical science. I would like to thank all the alumni that made a donation to celebrate their anniversary. I obviously made the right choice of university to have alumni willing to be this generous and it is much appreciated.
Donor Day 2011 Our chance to tha A review of the day Talks Archaeology PhD student Courtney Nimura talked about her research into rock art in Scandinavia and how the bursary she has received has helped her focus on her studies and develop an impressive extra-curricular portfolio. Professor Doug Saddy, Department of Clinical Language Sciences discussed the groundbreaking interdisciplinary work on neuroscience, leadership, and decision making at the University of Readingâ€™s Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics. Sports Scholar and MSc student Dan McKay, and Reading Rockets Chairman Gary Johnson spoke about the Reading Rockets team, one of the largest basketball clubs in England boasting a string of recent successes, as well as its new relationship with the University.
Highlights from the exhibition Department of Typography & Graphic Communication Material from the University collection of isotypes, the international picture language, recently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) A demonstration of one of many successful KTP projects. KTP has worked with Guide Dogs to create a viable technology solution to complement existing mobility aids that will help blind and partially-sighted people. National Centre for Language and Literacy An impressive collection of over 18,000 trade and education publications published during the last five years, housed at the National Centre for Language and Literacy at the Institute of Education. School of Systems Engineering Guests tried out sensor-rich, remote exploration robots on a large area of planetary terrain. This teaching aid, funded by the Annual Fund aims to enhance the experience of students undertaking a group design task.
ank you in person Donor Day is the University’s annual opportunity to thank our donors in person. This year, we brought together a selection of leading academics and project beneficiaries in talks and exhibits demonstrating how your support has made a difference to their lives. I have learned many new things about the University from attending Donor Day. The talks we received showcased the great diversity of what Reading does, and the speakers were interesting and clear for a non-specialist audience. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the work of the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics. Professor Christopher Folland (BSc Physics, 1966) Seeing what is happening on the territory I occupied 50 years ago, and knowing that my donations are providing some help, have been the notable highlights of Donor Day. One exhibit that stood out for me was the colourful array of children’s books displayed by the National Centre for Language and Literacy. This is a fantastic resource for teachers and, as I have previously worked for the Ministry of Overseas Development, it is great to see that they are working to publish literature in so many countries. Brian Eavis (BSc Agriculture, 1962) It has been so interesting to hear what is going on at the University now. It was fascinating to hear from Dan Mackay, a sports scholar from the University’s basketball team, the ‘Reading Rockets’. Hearing how he balances a degree alongside playing basketball at such a high level is incredible, and it is clear that he is so grateful for the scholarship he has received to make this possible.
Leading donors exchange ideas at the President’s Breakfast Forum
Photo courtesy of Russell Ede of Reading University Photographic Society
Dr Kevin Money, Associate Professor at the School of Management, Henley Business School and Director of The John Madejski Centre for Reputation, speaks at the President’s Breakfast Forum
The President’s Breakfast Forum is an annual event for leading donors to the University. The event is a chance for donors to network, engage with senior management from the University and hear from Reading academics on their latest cutting-edge research. Dr Money led this year’s forum where over 20 business leaders exchanged ideas on ‘values’ and how these translate into ‘behaviours’ within the work place and other organisations. He illustrated ‘how companies can drive good people to do bad things and how organisational values can become more significant than the values of the individual’. Willie Hartley Russell, Director of BlackRock Investment Management, said ‘The President’s Breakfast, held at KPMG’s Head Office, was a dynamic and interactive forum for business professionals connected with the University of Reading to meet and exchange views on topical issues. The event was well organised, interesting and pertinent to business practitioners. It was very good to see the University connecting so effectively with alumni and business professionals.’
June Hester (BA Psychology, 1947)
The future of Higher Education funding
Your food and the fight against heart disease Professor Julie Lovegrove and Professor Ian Rowland from the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition discuss their work and the difference made by a new Vascular Suite, which was opened this year following major gifts from donors including the Hugh Sinclair Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Tell us about the Hugh Sinclair Unit…
So prevention really is better than cure?
The Unit was established in 1995 following an endowment from the estate of the late Professor Hugh Sinclair, a pioneering doctor and researcher with expertise in human nutrition. Initially there were just four members of staff; today we have 10 academics, 25 research and support staff and around 40 PhD students. We conduct a wide range of studies into the relationship between food and health with the aim of using diet to help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
We know that lifestyle, especially diet, plays an important role in the initiation and development of chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, strokes, and cancer. This means that there is an opportunity to reduce the risk by modifying the diet, in contrast to treating an existing disease. It is becoming realised that this preventative route could be more effective than the conventional therapeutic approach. Studying prevention of a disease, however, is much more difficult than investigating a drug therapy for a person with an existing condition.
Julie My research focuses on understanding the links between dietary fat, carbohydrate, fruits and vegetables and heart disease risk. The health of your blood vessels, known as vascular function, is now recognised as a vital risk factor for heart disease that can be modified through diet. Despite a 50% reduction in deaths from heart disease in the UK since the 1980s, the actual number of people at risk of heart disease has increased markedly, because of common risk factors such as obesity and diabetes.
Julie Our approach is to change the diets of healthy volunteers and those at risk from heart disease, and perform measurements such as vascular function and blood cholesterol. Changes in these measures will inform us as to whether the diet has altered their disease risk. These measurements are known as ‘biomarkers’ – surrogate markers for a disease. They are important to determine the foods and nutrients eaten and also to help us assess the extent of disease progression. Our new Vascular Suite means we are able to more accurately measure important risk factors in our study volunteers.
The future of Higher Education funding Features
Is this why the new Vascular Suite looks like The Vascular Suite was completed as a a hospital ward, but is located on result of donations – what difference has campus in an academic building with this support made? offices and laboratories? Julie Julie We hope it’s not as intimidating as a hospital ward, but yes, we invite volunteers into our Unit to make clinical measurements to determine the effects of different foods or diets on vascular and cognitive function. Some volunteers are with us only for a matter of minutes and undergo familiar tests such as blood pressure or providing a blood sample. Others stay for the whole day and take part in more advanced measures using, for example, ultrasound technology to visualise arteries in the arm or lasers to measure blood flow through smaller blood vessels. Although it sounds quite high-tech, the techniques are not invasive or painful.
‘Studying prevention of a disease is much more difficult than investigating a drug therapy’ Ian In certain studies, volunteers return for a series of visits over the course of several weeks or months, and in others they stay in the Unit for several hours and give regular blood samples. This is particularly useful in studies where we investigate how efficiently the body absorbs certain beneficial substances found in fruits and vegetables, such as anthocyanins found in berries and isothiocyanates found in broccoli and rocket. We also assess their anti-cancer potential by measuring, for example, the level of DNA damage in our volunteers’ blood cells.
The new Vascular Suite has transformed our work by enabling us to purchase additional clinical beds and two new cuttingedge pieces of equipment. This in turn has allowed us to secure a number of key studies funded by government, charities and industry. These allow us to make new contributions to current nutritional knowledge and provide evidence to be used in developing public health policy and dietary recommendations.
Ian In the first few months of 2011 we have run nearly as many intervention studies as in the whole of 2010, due in large part to the new suite relieving space constraints across the Unit. The new clinical beds, essential for many of our studies, cost surprisingly little [under £12,000], whereas some of the latest equipment can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. We would not be able to continue our work without the support of all our funders and donors, and are particularly grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Hugh Sinclair Trust for their leading contributions towards the new Vascular Suite.
Volunteering: If you would like to find out more about participating as a volunteer, please contact Mrs Jan Luff, Nutrition Unit Manager on +44 (0) 118 378 7771 or email@example.com Giving: To discuss how you could support the Hugh Sinclair Unit in the fight against cancer and heart disease, please contact Richard Norman, Head of Development on +44 (0) 118 378 5236 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How your gifts make a difference Nearly 200 gifts have been made to the Boat Club 2012 Appeal, raising £98,000
These funds have enabled the Club to purchase two internationalstandard boats
Over £12,500 a year is given by donors to support pro bono activities in the School of Law
Each year, the Annual Fund gives £20,000 to support the Alumni Study Fund
Funding is provided to over 100 students each year to support additional educational activities such as field trips
Each year, 300 law students participate in seven pro bono projects for the benefit of the local community
The hands-on experience better equips our students with the knowledge, skills and experience for life after university
Five new donors join the Blandford Club by making an annual gift of £200 supporting up to 10 of these students
Forty of those students volunteer a total of 6,000 client-facing hours a year, at four of Berkshire’s Citizens Advice Bureaux
24 students and alumni of the University of Reading have represented Great Britain at the Olympics and World Rowing Championships
Alumni reaching an important milestone since graduation were invited to make a gift to mark their anniversary
The £16,000 they raised provided five bursaries, awarded to one student in each faculty
The School of Law is ranked four of 91 in the UK for employability and career prospects
Two donors become Reading Pioneers by making gifts of £1,000 or more a year
More than 400 gifts were made by alumni from 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 to the appeal
£2,000 funded a project in the School of Systems Engineering; a planet terrain for use with sensor-rich remote exploration robots. This enhances the experience of students as they undertake a practical group design task
Each year, the Annual Fund supports 15–20 teaching and extracurricular projects that enhance the student experience
Diageo Scholarship winners and their plans for Ghana The moment Christian Crentsil received a phone call from the University is still fresh in his memory. It marked a change in his life as he was one of the first two students to be awarded a Diageo Scholarship, worth up to £25,000. These new scholarships are supported by the Diageo Foundation and provide two students with comprehensive funding to cover both tuition fees and living costs.
Christian is now studying for a masters degree in Agricultural Development Economics. He said, ‘I applied to the University of Reading as it offers a multicultural environment and state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, as well as respected and experienced staff. The programme is equipping me with the relevant tools and opportunities to explore key social, economic, environmental and political issues relating to the development of agriculture in developing countries like Ghana.’ Both Christian and Lukest Mensah, also a Diageo scholar, are enjoying their experience immensely, and feel their time at Reading will prove to be of enormous benefit to their careers. Lukest, who is studying for a masters degree in Development Finance, said: ‘My first few months at the University of Reading have exceeded my expectations. The community exemplifies a typical, modern, British cosmopolitan society, rich in cultural diversity and opportunities. I chose a Reading masters degree programme because many
employers in Ghana respect its reputation for teaching and research excellence.’ Both students are clear they want to aid the economic and agricultural development of their home country after graduating. The scholarships complement the work of the Diageo 1 Million Challenge in providing one million Africans with clean drinking water each year until 2015 and the continued work of the Diageo Foundation, both in Africa and throughout the world. Ian Wright, Corporate Relations Director at Diageo, said: ‘We are delighted to support Christian and Lukest in their desire to contribute to economic development in Ghana. The Diageo Scholarships were conceived for just this purpose. Ghana is an important market for Diageo and food and water issues are at the heart of the challenges facing our business. The expertise which Christian and Lukest will gain from their time at Reading will stand them in good stead to make an important contribution to prosperity at home.’
Henley Business School | Staff giving | Transforming lives film
N ews round – up Henley alumni create Staff support the MBA bursary fund Annual Fund It’s not just alumni who have been generously contributing to the Annual Fund: more than 50 members of staff from across the University have also made a donation, with every pound raised used to enhance the student experience.
Henley MBA alumni are coming together to raise funds to support a student through their studies on Henley’s flagship MBA programme. Henley alumni are on track to support the first ever alumni-funded MBA bursary, for a recipient with the potential to add significant value to the classroom experience and who would not otherwise have been able to afford the fees. Another fundraising initiative at Henley is the Graduating Class Gift where students completing their MBA support an initiative close to them. The full-time class are keen to establish a business start-up fund and the flexible class are considering a bursary for the flexible programme. Watch this space for an update on their progress! For further information about supporting Henley, please contact Sarah Powell, Development Executive, email@example.com.
‘Without the financial support provided by the bursary I wouldn’t have been able to come to the UK to study for the MBA. Coming from a small, family business in Mumbai, this type of investment in my education is significant. I very much look forward to applying what I’m learning now back to the business.’ Amit Dattani MBA student and bursary recipient
The University has introduced payroll giving through the Charities Aid Foundation ‘Give as you earn’ (GAYE) scheme, which enables staff to give through their salary to the Annual Fund and other charitable causes they support. Since GAYE was launched at Reading in August, gifts from new staff donors to the Annual Fund have totalled over £13,000, enough to fund four additional projects. Staff are following the example of more than 5,000 Reading alumni, who have raised over £2.6 million for the Annual Fund since 2004 – proving that many people making a modest monthly gift makes a huge difference. More than 700 alumni are also members of staff at Reading and we hope many more of them will be encouraged to join those already giving to the Annual Fund. ‘I am proud to be a member of staff at the University of Reading and for me, giving to the Annual Fund each month is a way of expressing this pride. Knowing that in a small way I am helping to support and develop talented students means a lot to me.’ Fiona Blair Director of Corporate Relations and Events and Blandford Club Member
For more information If you are interested in finding out more, please contact: Becki McKinlay, Deputy Director, Annual Giving | firstname.lastname@example.org
Transforming lives – making of the film Every year, the Development Team faces a challenge: with over 100 projects and more than 5,000 donors from 66 countries, how can we demonstrate to all our donors the scale, diversity and impact of your support? Last year, the Annual Fund awarded £5,000 to the Department of Film, Theatre & Television to purchase new filming equipment. We also recruited two students from the same department to take part in our telephone campaigns. What a great opportunity to demonstrate the impact of our donors’ generosity – through a media we hadn’t used before and under the direction of students who had benefited. The film Transforming Lives was conceived. We are fortunate to have so many engaged donors willing to tell us why they give and what they feel passionate about. They helped us focus on the projects to feature: Sports Scholarships, Guttenberg’s Press, the Students’ Union newspaper and radio station, meteorological equipment in Geography, the Hirst Scholarships and the CB Richard Ellis Professorship in Real Estate Finance. The next challenge was to bring together the recipients and our donors, whilst showcasing these tremendous projects. With only two days of filming time and traditional British weather, our student film crew were under pressure. The students then set to work on the editing; condensing hours of footage into a five-minute film. One week later 10 members of staff from across the University gathered in a small, dark room at Bulmershe where the team had been working endlessly. The film was finally ready. Since its launch on the University website and on YouTube, the film has received nearly 1,000 views. Please take a look at www.reading.ac.uk/alumni/support
The future of Higher Education funding Features
The Palmer Society A new society has been established to recognise those who generously remember the University with a gift in their Will The Palmer Society takes its name from the local Palmer family, of the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers. The family made several significant donations and bequests in the years leading up to the University receiving its Royal Charter in 1926, and remain closely involved with the University. There has been a member of the family represented on the University Council since 1926. Mr Andrew Palmer is patron of the new society as well as being a member of the Development Board, the Museum of English Rural Life Committee and Chairman of The Friends. Members of the Palmer Society are key to the future of the University. They help to ensure that the University will continue to hold a leading position, both in the UK and internationally, in the provision of excellent teaching to the brightest students, and the ability to increase knowledge and understanding through research. If you would like further information please contact: Richard Norman, Head of Development email@example.com
‘As someone who has spent my life working for a children’s charity, attempting to make a difference in people’s lives, I am very well aware of the value of legacies. Being a member of the Palmer Society will enable me to find a connection between my wishes and the ideas and innovations of the University, to ensure my gift makes the best possible difference.’ Sue Styche BSc Geography, 1971 Blandford Club member
Inheritance tax The Government has announced that a reduced rate of inheritance tax will apply where 10 per cent or more of an estate is left to charity. The current 40 per cent rate will be reduced to 36 per cent.
Successful alumna funds bursaries in the School of Real Estate and Planning Sue Clayton (BSc Estate Management, 1979), Executive Director – Capital Markets at CB Richard Ellis, generously supports the Clayton Bursary and Prize each year. The Prize is awarded twice a year at graduation to the ‘most improved’ student, and the Bursary is awarded annually to an undergraduate student. Sue also funds the Clayton MSc Flexible Programmes Hardship Fund to support students studying part-time who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties. Sue is a member of the Alumni Board for the Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF) which sits within the School of Real Estate & Planning, part of the Henley Business School. RREF was established in 2002 as a registered charity by Professor Andrew Baum (BSc Estate Management, 1973) and a core group of 12 alumni to provide support for real estate and planning education at Reading. Alumni and corporate partners support a number of bursaries for undergraduate and postgraduate students facing hardship, and PhD studentships, as well as taking part in a wide-ranging programme of career development activities run by RREF. The Foundation also offers graduation awards to recognise achievement and outstanding contribution while at Reading. Sue is part of a very active graduation year, whereby they hold their reunion every year at the RREF Annual Dinner gathering over 35 alumni from 1979 to celebrate alongside 400 other alumni guests. She is also a mentor to a current student as part of the very successful RREF Mentoring Programme. For further information on RREF, please contact: Nicole Gillham, Executive Director, 0118 378 4193 firstname.lastname@example.org 13
The future of Higher Education funding
TRANSFORMING LIVES p 4 A snapshot of donors and the lives they help to change YOUR FOOD AND THE FIGHT AGAINST HEART DISEASE p 8 Reading academics discuss the impact of donations on their groundbreaking research DIAGEO SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS p 11 The impact of scholarships on Ghana
Giving Matters For more information, please contact: Shanti Windsor University of Reading Blandford Lodge Reading RG6 6AH United Kingdom email@example.com Tel +44 (0)118 378 8268