The £48 million Forum will be the stunning new heart of the Streatham Campus.

University’s £23m fundraising target exceeded – one year early

The University of Exeter and its supporters are celebrating surpassing a multi-million pound fundraising target, a year earlier than expected.

The campaign: Creating a world-class University together was publicly launched last May (2010), with the aim of raising £23 million by 2012.

In addition, more than 200 people have pledged to remember Exeter in their will. The campaign also set a target to generate 2,012 volunteer hours given by alumni and supporters. In fact, more than 7,000 hours of time have been given so far, with more being pledged. This is the equivalent of one person working full-time for over four years.

Alumni and supporters have taken part in a range of activities including career talks, practice job interviews and mentoring individual students, to help them as they start on their career path.

“We are overwhelmed by the response from our alumni and supporters who have given so generously, both financially and of their valuable time, to our campaign,” said Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

“We thought we had set a challenging time-scale to reach these targets by 2012 – little did we imagine we would get there a whole year early.

“I’d like to thank all those who have given to us because it makes a real difference to our students. To achieve this in the current economic climate is frankly remarkable.

“The changes the Government has made to the way our universities are funded means we must look to secure other sources of income. Philanthropy is increasingly important and will only become more so in the future.”

A multi-million pound investment programme is currently taking place at the University of Exeter. Some of the campaign revenue has helped support a new building for the Business School which was opened in the spring, and the stunning Forum Project, which is currently under construction.

The new Business School facility is part of a £25 million investment in the School, which has been consistently ranked among the top Business Schools in the UK for student satisfaction.

The £48 million Forum is the flagship project in the University’s construction portfolio and will provide a new heart for the centre of the Streatham Campus. It will see the creation of a dedicated student services centre, 400-seat lecture theatre, expanded library, new University reception and attractive landscaped piazzas.

Campaign funds are also supporting Exeter’s research projects, which look to tackle some of the world’s most pressing global challenges including climate change, combating disease and fighting hunger. Exeter has an excellent research foundation, with world-class research in all of the 31 subject areas in the University from humanities to science.

The University is also investing £80 million in science, medicine and engineering and in 2010 began a recruitment drive for over 100 new research posts.

Nicholas Bull, the Chairman of the Campaign Board, who is also an Exeter graduate said: “Throughout this campaign it has become clear that our alumni have a great affection for Exeter and have a wish to participate in and support the success of Exeter as one of Britain's leading universities.

“There is also a growing acceptance of the fact that no university can be top class without the active support of its alumni. To achieve this fundraising a lot of alumni have been very generous with their time and their donations, and we are very grateful to them.

“At the same time our reputation among trusts and foundations has been evidenced by a number of significant grants. I am confident that their generosity will be rewarded by seeing Exeter continuing to offer an outstanding university education.”

Nick Davis, President of the University of Exeter Students’ Guild, said: “It is absolutely fantastic that the Creating a world-class University together campaign has succeeded in exceeding its fundraising and volunteering targets.

“This is a testament to the qualities and attributes instilled in Exeter students during their time at the University.

“The Guild works tirelessly with the University to engage students in activities such as volunteering. We know that Exeter students are more likely to be active members of the community while they are students and after they graduate. The fact that the University's fundraising and volunteering targets have been exceeded a year ahead of schedule demonstrates this fact.”

Date: 1 August 2011