Founded as a College in 1962, St Catherine’s roots stretch back much further – to the founding of the ‘Delegacy for Unattached Students’ in 1868. College fees deterred many people from applying, and the Delegacy aimed to diversify the social backgrounds of those benefitting from the transformative power of an Oxford education. Its aim was to create an academic community in which individuality and creativity were celebrated among a socially-diverse student body.
This aim continues to be our guiding principle today. Catz changes people’s lives through its unwavering commitment to provide students from all walks of life with the opportunity to flourish. We are a thriving and inclusive academic and social community, where our students are challenged and supported to find out who they really are and who they want to become.
There is much to be done to ensure St Catherine’s stays true to its roots, adapts to modern times, and safeguards our future. Our fundraising priorities are laid out below, and I warmly invite you to read through them in the hope you will feel inspired to further support us in our aims.
None of our work would be possible without your continued, generous support, for which we are truly grateful.
Acting Director of Development
Our Fundraising Priorities
Buildings and Grounds
Our distinctive Jacobsen buildings were constructed to form a state-of-the art space within which our community could learn, work, and live. Sympathetic additions have been made over the years, including the Mary Sunley building, the Arumugam building (housing the Lodge) and, most recently, the Ainsworth Graduate Centre. Both the original and more recent constructions would not have been possible without the generous support of alumni and friends. At the forefront of design in 1962, we must now urgently embark on an ambitious programme of enhancement and refurbishment. This includes plans to decarbonise our site and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to move towards our target of net zero, while remaining faithful to the original Jacobsen vision.
Your donation to our Buildings and Grounds Fund can assist us in upgrading and modernising our buildings according to the latest technological, environmental and access standards. This will ensure physical aspects of the College are fit for the needs of our students, fellows, staff and conferencing clients of the future, for the next 60 years and beyond.
The financial security of Oxford colleges is underpinned by endowments, most of which have been built up over centuries. A strong endowment protects the College from fluctuations in external sources of income and the economy, and allow a College to invest in its students and the future.
In our relatively short history we have managed our endowment prudently and enhanced its value, which today sits at approximately £104M*. This is an impressive size for such a young college but is only the median level across the Collegiate University and far below the likes of St John’s (£703M), Christ Church (£684M) and Magdalen (£667M)**.
Colleges with the highest endowments are better able to weather financial storms, such as Covid-19, and protect their teaching though the endowment of Fellowships, whilst offering their students enhanced practical and financial support. Donations to the Endowment Fund help us gain greater financial security in an increasingly turbulent financial climate and preserve our exceptional quality of education for future generations.
*Figures for the financial year 2021-22
**Figures for the financial year 2020-21
Teaching and Research
St Catz is renowned for its exceptional teaching and research, and our academics are at the heart of this. The tutorial system ensures our undergraduates are given support where it is most needed, with teaching tailored to needs and interests and progress closely monitored. Many of our tutors have an international reputation for research in their field and the College is proud of its place at the forefront of innovation, research and contemporary culture.
Gifts to support the Tutorial Fellowships and Research Fund through the full or partial endowment of tutorial fellowships protect the teaching of a subject in perpetuity, allowing us to attract the very best academic minds, and ensuring we continue to be a centre of world-leading research.
If you would like to support a particular subject, we have funds for the following:
- Alan Taylor Trust Fund, supporting the teaching of Mathematics
- Ceri Peach Trust Fund, supporting the teaching of Geography
- Derek Davis Trust Fund, supporting the teaching of Law
- Dickson Holmes Trust Fund, supporting the teaching of History
To fully endow a Fellowship in perpetuity costs between £1.2- £2.6M. This could be achieved with 12-16 donations of £100,000 or 24-32 donations of £50,000.
Undergraduate Student Support
The founding principle of St Catz was to open up Oxford to a wider range of students, and this fund ensures that we remain open to all, regardless of background. No talented student should be deterred from coming here due to financial constraints. We are committed to ensuring that they have access to the same opportunities as the generations that preceded them and that they can rely on our support in a turbulent economic climate.
Gifts to the Student Support Fund have a direct impact on our current students and allow us to offer financial support to 1 in 5 of our undergraduates and 1 in 7 of our graduate students.
We also support means-tested undergraduate bursaries through our Foundation Scholarship Programme for students with household incomes of £25,000 or less to £50,000. Over 60 alumni and friends support us in this way and in the academic year of 2022-23, over 70 of our students benefited from a Foundation Scholarship.
A donation of £25,000 would endow a Foundation Scholarship in perpetuity.
In order for Catz to continue to attract and retain outstanding academics, exceptional graduate students are crucial. Graduate students make essential contributions to our ground-breaking research, enhancing the academic reputation of both the college and department to which they belong. They are the engine of research in our laboratories, libraries and seminars and go on to lead the way in their fields, pushing frontiers of knowledge.
In a global context of reduced public funding for higher education, we are more dependent than ever before upon the generosity and support of our alumni, friends and donors to help us to deliver this.
- The most frequent reason given for why graduate offer holders turn down their Oxford place is lack of funding.
- Many other Oxford Colleges are able to offer higher level scholarships, meaning that talented undergraduates moving into postgraduate level study may choose to apply elsewhere, as staying at Catz is not economically feasible.
- There is fierce global competition to attract today’s internationally mobile top students, and the availability of scholarship funding is key to both encouraging applications and ensuring that individuals can take up their place.
- We are able to partner with University departments and initiatives outside of Oxford to offer attractive scholarship packages including with the Marshall Foundation (US), the Weidenfeld-Hoffman Trust, and the Blavatnik School of Government.
A donation of £15,000 would fund a postgraduate scholarship worth £5,000 for three years.
A donation of £25,500 would fully fund the College contributions of three Wiedenfeld-Hoffman Trust Scholars for one year.
A donation of £167,000 would endow a postgraduate scholarship worth £5,000 in perpetuity.
Access and Outreach
Donations to this fund support the work of our Outreach Officer in welcoming over 4,000 prospective applicants each year to St Catz, giving them an invaluable insight into life at Oxford.
In addition to one off school visits and events we deliver The Catalyst Programme, a sustained contact programme that provides pupils from six hubs across Lewisham, Haringey, Wales, and Teesside with tailored support at multiple points in their school career, as well as an opportunity to visit Oxford.
We also work alongside Jesus College and New College to form Oxford Cymru, supporting community outreach across Wales as welsh students are still under-represented at Oxford.
In the 2022 – 2023 academic year, we worked with over 4,400 school pupils across more than 108 access and outreach events.
Get in Touch
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our Development Team:
Acting Director of Development
email@example.com / +44 (0) 1865 271 692
Lucie Thorpe Spickova
firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0) 1865 281 596