Robinson College was conceived in the 1970s thanks to the vision and generosity of one man, Sir David Robinson, who paid for the construction of the main College building. Notwithstanding its very recent foundation, Robinson alumni are already making significant contributions to the arts, politics, scientific research, education and academic and public life, as well as major areas of industry and commerce, both within the UK and overseas, ranging from television presenter, Konnie Huq to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. In some thirty-five years of integrated undergraduate and postgraduate education at Robinson and more than eight centuries of the University of Cambridge, the world of higher education had changed and developed, not least in how it is funded.
We must also change and develop in order to meet the new challenges ahead and ensure that Robinsonians continue to excel and to contribute to society. On average around 27% of College income comes from academic fees and charges from the student loan company and private sources. The balance is therefore made up by income from conferences and student accommodation, residential services, investments and, very importantly, gifts from our friends, alumni, corporate contacts and grant-making trusts. See full details
To continue to ensure excellence at Robinson, there are three main tasks. We must:
- enable the best students to come to Robinson, regardless of their origin or financial circumstances;
- attract the best supervisors, scholars and researchers from around the world; and
- maintain and enhance the College: Robinson’s teaching and research environment.
To fulfil these goals, we must increase the College’s endowment to give it a reliable and independent source of annual income and to build a reserve to renew or refurbish the buildings. Until this goal is achieved, we must also support particular projects reflecting the most urgent current needs within the three tasks outlined above. For this reason, the Annual Fund was established in 2005.
The launch of the Annual Fund in 2005 has significantly helped the College to begin to address these issues, thanks to the tremendous response from alumni and their families. For example, when 275 members and Friends give £20 per month for 4 years, with Gift Aid, this raises £330,000 for the College. Such an amount may be used to fund a College teaching Fellowships for 5.5 years in subjects such as English, Law, Economics, Mathematics and Modern Languages, or five 3-year PhD scholarships, or more than 60 maximum Cambridge Bursary Scheme awards for Robinson undergraduates in need of annual support throughout a 3-year degree course.
Gifts from our Members and Friends help us to meet our challenges and enable today's students to continue to benefit from:
- the supervision system, which makes a Cambridge education particularly valuable
- bursaries and scholarships to assist those in financial need
- safe, secure, comfortable and clean living and working space and facilities
- the wide and varied range of pastoral support and extra-curricular activities that provide a counter-balance to a pressured and competitive academic environment
Rob Jeffreys (2003), a bursary recipient and former President of the RCSA says: "I was overjoyed at my acceptance of a place, however, the cost of living and funding of my course was a significant concern to me. Thanks to your generosity in contributing to the Robinson College, my experience here has not been tempered by worries over financial hardship...without the support that I received...I do not know how I could have completed my education here."
Your gift to the Annual Fund will help the College to continue to offer a first-class education to students like Rob from all walks of life, with all the opportunities that it brings. Thank you.