Why do the UK universities have so little endowment and what does it mean?

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PopABottle
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Comparing UK universities to those abroad:

U.S. the best: Harvard at $36.4 billion.

UK's best Oxford at £4.355 billion

BUT then moving down to others such as KCL at £162.2 million and Warwick (one of the emerging universities) at only £8.6million!

Some people have argued the difference is between the U.S. and UK but moving to other well-known universities such as University of Toronto has $1.881 billion (excluding colleges in Canadian Dollars) and University of Sydney also has $1.8 billion (AUD). Australia's newer universities (and ****ty ones) such as the University of Macquarie also has $850 million. Macquarie is just one year older than Warwick. How is this possible? Are UK donors stingy?
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Okorange
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(Original post by PopABottle)
Comparing UK universities to those abroad:

U.S. the best: Harvard at $36.4 billion.

UK's best Oxford at £4.355 billion

BUT then moving down to others such as KCL at £162.2 million and Warwick (one of the emerging universities) at only £8.6million!

Some people have argued the difference is between the U.S. and UK but moving to other well-known universities such as University of Toronto has $1.881 billion (excluding colleges in Canadian Dollars) and University of Sydney also has $1.8 billion (AUD). Australia's newer universities (and ****ty ones) such as the University of Macquarie also has $850 million. Macquarie is just one year older than Warwick. How is this possible? Are UK donors stingy?
Yes. UK alumni doesn't have a tradition of giving back, and this should change. You shouldn't compare US privates to UK unis just because privates depend on their endowments for everything while UK unis get a ton of funding from the government each year for each student they enroll and also for research.

But when you compare it to publics like Berkeley, Michigan etc and you see that they have more endowment it does mean that UK donors just aren't giving as much as other countries are.
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PopABottle
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But comparing even to Australia and Canada? Are the donors that much more generous?
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by PopABottle)
But comparing even to Australia and Canada? Are the donors that much more generous?
they couldn't be any more ungenerous than me. I went to three British universities and have never given a penny to any of them, never mind the annual £25/£50/£100/£_________ they solicit as a direct debit thing. I might've bought a mug or t-shirt at some stage.
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Okorange
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It may be because UK unis haven't tried to fundraise as much as well. I know that unis in Canada fundraise quite aggressively.
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PopABottle
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When you compare the numbers and Warwick stands at £8 mil is quite a joke!
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Maker
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A lot of expensive US universities have legacy students. Wealthy and generous alumni give generously and their kids can get into the uni with lesser grades. Well known legacy students include George W. Bush.

I don't think we want people buying their way into Oxbridge, the rich are already advantaged enough compared to normal folk.
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wilson_smith
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Because many U.S. universities are ran, in the first instance, as businesses rather than educational institutions. That is not something to be envied.
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Okorange
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It is also more common for North American enterpreneurs which lets admit, there are few of in the UK, tend to donate huge sums to their alma maters. For example in Canada DeGroote has funded the School of Medicine and Business at McMaster.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...oote-1.2929234

Look at this link: DeGroote donated 105 million Canadian dollars to McMaster's School of Medicine back in 2003. He followed that up in 2014 with another 50 million dollar donation, again to the School of Medicine. If you have that sort of donation its no wonder your school succeeds. McMaster's Medical School was ranked 14th in the world in 2012 according to THE.

In addition, Schulich has funded the School of Medicine at Western and the School of Business at York. Ivey has funded the School of Business at Western and Ted Rogers has funded the school of Business at Ryerson. Lastly the school of Pharmacy at Toronto has been funded by Leslie Dan.

All in all you get the idea. Only a few UK schools are heavily funded, namely the Dickson Poon School of Law, but this sort of "naming after philanthropists" is something much more common in America and Canada. For example, if you go to any major hospital in Canada you will see a list of donors that have paid money and multiple wings are named after people.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Okorange)
You shouldn't compare US privates to UK unis just because privates depend on their endowments for everything while UK unis get a ton of funding from the government each year for each student they enroll and also for research.
This is a myth. Harvard receives more U.S. federal government money $600M than Oxford.


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Maker
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
This is a myth. Harvard receives more U.S. federal government money $600M than Oxford.


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It depends what the money is for, is it paying for research, subsidising students or something else? Throwing figures around without context is not helpful or informative.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Maker)
It depends what the money is for, is it paying for research, subsidising students or something else? Throwing figures around without context is not helpful or informative.
It is almost all for research but since the introduction of £9000 student fees, virtually all UK government funding for universities is for research as well.


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theroyalwhigs
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The UK doesn't have an endowment culture, in the same way Nordic countries are relatively left wing. It's purely cultural. Americans tend to be more money orientated, while Europeans are more likely to believe that money isn't everything.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by theroyalwhigs)
The UK doesn't have an endowment culture, in the same way Nordic countries are relatively left wing. It's purely cultural. Americans tend to be more money orientated, while Europeans are more likely to believe that money isn't everything.
Some factors to consider.
The impact of the agricultural depression, great depression, the 1930s, two world wars, numerous financial crises on the assets of the UK Universities established during the C19th.
Falling government grants, expanding student numbers, subject proliferation and rising expectations of campus facilities during theC20th.
The aim of most Universities is to generate a sufficient surplus of income over expenditure to keep investing in infrastructure. There just isn’t scope to build up a significant endowment within most of the larger institutions.
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PopABottle
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(Original post by Okorange)
It is also more common for North American enterpreneurs which lets admit, there are few of in the UK, tend to donate huge sums to their alma maters. For example in Canada DeGroote has funded the School of Medicine and Business at McMaster.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...oote-1.2929234

Look at this link: DeGroote donated 105 million Canadian dollars to McMaster's School of Medicine back in 2003. He followed that up in 2014 with another 50 million dollar donation, again to the School of Medicine. If you have that sort of donation its no wonder your school succeeds. McMaster's Medical School was ranked 14th in the world in 2012 according to THE.

In addition, Schulich has funded the School of Medicine at Western and the School of Business at York. Ivey has funded the School of Business at Western and Ted Rogers has funded the school of Business at Ryerson. Lastly the school of Pharmacy at Toronto has been funded by Leslie Dan.

All in all you get the idea. Only a few UK schools are heavily funded, namely the Dickson Poon School of Law, but this sort of "naming after philanthropists" is something much more common in America and Canada. For example, if you go to any major hospital in Canada you will see a list of donors that have paid money and multiple wings are named after people.
So is it a philanthropy culture that is more prevalent in every other predominant Anglo-Saxon society but in the UK? I did a bit of Google searching from your DeGroote point and found that on the first day of fundraising, an anonymous donor for an Australian university gave $10mil and for the Ohio State University in the U.S. there was also a $20 mil anonymous donation in 2008 which in 2006 raised a total of $672 mil in anonymous donations - without having his name on any building or any recognition. Is this just a generosity thing that the UK is lacking? This is rather surprising given how much wealth and entrepreneurs there are in the UK!
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Okorange
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(Original post by PopABottle)
So is it a philanthropy culture that is more prevalent in every other predominant Anglo-Saxon society but in the UK? I did a bit of Google searching from your DeGroote point and found that on the first day of fundraising, an anonymous donor for an Australian university gave $10mil and for the Ohio State University in the U.S. there was also a $20 mil anonymous donation in 2008 which in 2006 raised a total of $672 mil in anonymous donations - without having his name on any building or any recognition. Is this just a generosity thing that the UK is lacking? This is rather surprising given how much wealth and entrepreneurs there are in the UK!
I guess so. As you said, even anonymous donations regularly top 20 million.

It must be.
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DJKL
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Or could it be that the tax system in the UK has not been that helpful to graduates having any money left over to donate to their universities.

I made one small donation to Edinburgh years ago, since then the cost of having children/ buying a house/ making pension payments etc has limited my ability to make charitable donations and in all honesty I would prefer what I can donate to go to other causes that benefit the third world.

The population of the UK is pretty generous at times with donations, up here in Scotland per capita more than average I believe, but donations are about choices and a UK university really does not come high in my/others list of those needing my money.

Maybe when I die, however even then the Carnegie Trust, who supported/ paid my fees for my PG, would rank over either Edinburgh or Aberdeen
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Okorange
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(Original post by DJKL)
Or could it be that the tax system in the UK has not been that helpful to graduates having any money left over to donate to their universities.

I made one small donation to Edinburgh years ago, since then the cost of having children/ buying a house/ making pension payments etc has limited my ability to make charitable donations and in all honesty I would prefer what I can donate to go to other causes that benefit the third world.

The population of the UK is pretty generous at times with donations, up here in Scotland per capita more than average I believe, but donations are about choices and a UK university really does not come high in my/others list of those needing my money.

Maybe when I die, however even then the Carnegie Trust, who supported/ paid my fees for my PG, would rank over either Edinburgh or Aberdeen
I think its about the same for average grads but probably less than in the US. I know alumni in the US are usually really connected to their alma maters. The big donations in the UK however are fewer and more far between.
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