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Invest in the Future

From the Senior Bursar

Caius needs at least £200 million more in its endowment, at current valuations, if it is to continue to offer its students the same benefits that previous generations have enjoyed. In particular, the supervision system – teaching students in small groups by leaders in their fields who are Fellows of the College – is under threat. The whole basis of funding undergraduate teaching has shifted from the Government to the students and the colleges.

Caius is fortunate in having an endowment that provides some funding for students in need. On average, we subsidise the costs of each student by £5,000 a year. Our Endowment has been built up over the centuries through the generosity of Caians and friends of the College. That process continues today. In 2008, the Endowment was £100 million; thanks to continuing benefactions and the professionalism of our Development Office, it now stands at £150 million. My predecessors have played a role in careful control of College expenditure and prudent investment of the endowed assets; and those policies continue too.

Caius has been a wonderful place for many of us and we now need to work to ensure that its financial position is secure and protected against the vagaries of political intervention. This brochure explains in more detail why the money is needed and I encourage all friends of the College to read it.

Dr David Secher (1974)

Cambridge University and the Cambridge Colleges

Cambridge is a first class university, consistently ranked in the top three in the world. Cambridge University provides lectures, laboratories and subject-specific libraries for each Department. All individual teaching and supervision of undergraduate students takes place in the 31 colleges, each of which is responsible for its own resident students and funding.

Colleges are at the heart of a Cambridge education, the key to its excellence. They allow Cambridge to grow large and remain intimate, to be at once both big and small. Colleges, each spanning the academic spectrum, offer wonderful opportunities for cross-fertilisation of ideas, through conversations that stimulate creativity and lateral thinking, both at High Table and on the student benches. Membership of a college often creates an intellectual and emotional loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

Giving or Investing?

Like many Caians, Richard Handley (1972) views his gifts to Caius as a wise investment:

‘My wife Chris and I like to think of charitable giving as another form of investment and when considering where to give, we pay attention to what we call between ourselves the likely “multiplication factor” of the charitable cause, or put another way, the rate of return allowing for the risk. For us, education has one of the highest and most predictable returns on investment, through feeding the pipeline of brainpower, enlightenment and maturity so necessary to dealing with the challenges facing the world. By investing in the development of high quality people, relatively small investments have the potential to be multiplied many times over as those people go out into the world to play their parts, however large or small, in moving mankind further forward.’

Funding:Ways and Means

Our College was founded in 1348. During the first six hundred years of its history, the generosity of Caians and friends of the College supported our core activities of teaching, research and scholarship and enabled us to build up our Endowment. As a result of judicious investment, this fund generates a growing income to help support our work.

In the second half of the twentieth century, the British Government met most of the costs of university education through a system of grants and subsidies. In recent years, this funding has been drastically reduced and students have had to meet the costs of both fees and maintenance by taking out loans that they will repay with interest.

The Oxbridge colleges’ response to the government cutbacks has been to return to the funding model that served them so well for many centuries, where successful graduates funded the education of subsequent generations, making generous philanthropic gifts to their colleges in appreciation for the benefits they had received. Gonville & Caius College was one of the first to realise this need. In the 21st century, Caius has led the way in seeking and receiving renewed support from Caians, parents and friends of the College. It is now vital that this support continues to secure Caius’ excellence in teaching and research for future generations.