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Giving all students the chance to live Cambridge life to the full

Alumni donations help to support more than 2,600 students every year.

- 2 minute read
Israel Shitta, third year mathematician
Israel Shitta, third year mathematician at Fitzwilliam College

Mancunian mathematician, Israel Shitta, says that finding the money to come to university was a big deal. “My parents were extremely concerned about finances and were already trying to raise funds from close friends and family. When I told them I would receive a bursary at Cambridge, the relief and joy that suddenly took hold of them was immense,” he says.

Israel is one of more than 2,600 undergraduates annually who benefit from bursary support at Cambridge. This is one of many resources for students that are supported through gifts to the University’s Student Support Initiative (SSI), which aims to provide new postgraduate studentships, financial support for undergraduates, and projects to improve access, student life and wellbeing.

A lot of donations to the SSI come from Cambridge alumni giving one-off and regular gifts to their Colleges – many of these gifts, thanks to the generosity of David and Claudia Harding, are doubled by the Harding Challenge. Through this, Cambridge aims both to support more students with a bursary and give a greater amount to those who need it the most.

This is how it works: if you are a new donor to the Collegiate University, or have not given since July 2018, and give to any aspect of the SSI, your gift will unlock, pound for pound, a contribution to a special fund for undergraduate bursaries. Gifts of any size up to £100,000 qualify and every pound makes a difference.

Now in his third year at Fitzwilliam, Israel says that it is impossible to overestimate the impact the bursary has had on his Cambridge experience. “I am very grateful that I only have to worry about hard maths problems, rather than where my next meal is going to come from or how I’m going to pay for my accommodation.”

So, if you’d like to support students like Israel, and take advantage of the Harding Challenge to multiply the power of your donation, please contact your College.

To find out more about how you can support Cambridge students, please contact your College or visit our website.

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