Surrey's first global fundraising campaign reaches £50 million milestone – and celebrates support for cutting-edge research and life-changing scholarships
The University of Surrey is celebrating raising £50 million as part of its first global philanthropic fundraising campaign, the target for which is to raise £60 million within three years.
The campaign, dubbed ‘The Future Says Surrey’, launched in February 2022 and has already secured the University's largest-ever gift – £10 million to support the Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine.
The Future Says Surrey campaign has also secured a $1.5m gift from Google.org to increase digital accessibility for the deaf community. Researchers from Surrey's Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence (AI) will work with Signapse, a Surrey spinout company, to create AI technologies such as British Sign Language translations for internet web pages.
Another campaign project, funded by a £1.25m gift from the People’s Postcode Lottery, will support research that will boost biodiversity through the use of AI and satellite imaging technologies – with much of the research focused in the neighbouring Surrey Hills.
Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said:
"The tremendous success of The Future Says Surrey philanthropic campaign will not only elevate our research in pivotal areas like sustainability, artificial intelligence and animal/human health, but it is also already creating opportunities for care-experienced students to become part of the Surrey community, where they can receive a world-class education."
The University has received a gift of over £1 million from one of its alumni to support the education of students from a care background, alongside UK students hoping to study at Surrey's new School of Medicine, which opens its doors in September 2024.
In 2019, a study by the Office for Students showed that only 19% of 19-year-olds with care experience were in higher education, compared to 43% of other 19-year-olds. In 2021, the Children's Commissioner of England noted that 41% of people aged 19-21 who had been in care were not in education, work or training.
Patrick Degg, Vice-President (External Engagement) at the University of Surrey, said:
"A university education is a formative and incredible time in a person's life. However, many talented students cannot access this opportunity due to personal circumstances. The Future Says Surrey campaign allows us to continue the University's proud history of supporting talented people, regardless of their personal background or financial means."
You can find out more, including details of how to donate, at thefuturesays.surrey.ac.uk.