University campaign achieves £60m target

Fifteen thousand gifts from alumni and other donors all around the world have taken the University's fundraising campaign beyond its £60m goal.

Naomi Maher, recipient of an alumni-funded scholarship


These gifts are investing in research to tackle major global challenges and enabling students to develop their talents, whether in business, sport or the creative arts. More than 1,000 young people from less privileged backgrounds have been awarded scholarships – vital financial help to support them throughout their studies.

Gifts to the Campaign are also enabling the University to strengthen its work in local schools and communities to encourage young people to aim high, and allowing talented young people to develop their business ideas, to conduct fieldwork around the globe, and to develop their talents in sport, leadership and the performing arts.

They are also supporting research into heart disease and cancer and into major challenges such as sustainable agriculture and food security – while nurturing the researchers of the future.

The most visible sign of the campaign is the new Laidlaw Library, close to the University entrance on Woodhouse Lane. It is named after Irvine Laidlaw, who studied economics at Leeds in the 1960s, and whose £9m gift for the project is the biggest ever received by the University.

Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands thanked donors for their support: “Our Campaign is making a crucial contribution to the University, its students and its impact on the world,” he said. “We are deeply grateful for the support of all our donors which will expand the intellectual horizons of our students, grow our research and develop our campus.”

The Campaign will now be extended for a further four years – with an increased target of £100m. “Further investment is crucial to achieving our ambitions,” he said. “In a globally-competitive environment, we cannot rest if we are to continue to attract the best staff, outstanding students from all social backgrounds and make the greatest possible contribution to new knowledge and its application to real-world problems.

“This increased financial goal will allow us to invest in key areas of research such as cancer and robotics and provide inspirational opportunities for our students.”

Alongside this financial support, the University will engage the support of volunteers, harnessing the knowledge and expertise of alumni and others worldwide to provide practical career advice and valuable mentoring for students.

Read more about the people and projects that alumni gifts are supporting at Leeds.

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