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Scholars Fund priorities to 30 June 2021

March 2021: Warden of Rhodes House Dr Elizabeth Kiss (Virginia & Balliol 1983) sets out the needs of Scholars and the priorities for annual giving for the remainder of the financial year.

£1,120,000 (3) (1)

Financial hardship continues to affect Scholars, including lost part-time jobs, unexpected expenses, and disruption of plans to self-fund the final months of DPhil study. We are budgeting for a 130% increase in genuine hardship needs this year compared to pre-pandemic.

With the UK in lockdown for much of the academic year there is an increased need for wellbeing support for our Scholars. The generosity of donors allows the Trust to fund professional consultations and thus lessen the impact.

“I received counselling after a difficult event during my time in Oxford. From the first session, the difference it made to my wellbeing was immense, which in turn helped me to stay on track for my academic work. Thank you!”  - 2019 Scholar

‘Covid grants’: it is estimated that up to £500,000 will be needed over three years for stipend extensions for Scholars forced to extend their degrees due to the disruption of their studies.


We need to raise £1.12m by 30 June.  I am delighted that hundreds of alumni from around the world have so far already donated £600,000!

£1,120,000 (1)

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The need for unrestricted annual giving

100% of the Scholars Fund is used for Scholar in Residence support in the year in which the gift is given.  Donations are pooled to meet the needs of all current Scholars.  Whatever you can give, your gift will help us reach the goal.

The endowment is sufficient to meet tuition fees and stipends while preserving long-term value.  New initiatives, such as the building works or opening the Scholarship to more countries, are funded separately. 

It is annual contributions to the Scholars Fund that allow us to meet Scholar support needs, develop the Scholar experience, and be responsive to circumstances as they arise through the year.  

Why your gift is important

In a typical year around 1000 Scholar alumni make a gift to the Scholars Fund.  Gifts range from a few pounds to several thousand.  Whatever you can give, the value of your gift is felt strongly in two ways:

  1. Through the power of pooled donations - every gift keeps the Scholarships strong
  2. The symbolic value of alumni participation, a metric used by many external donors in assessing the Scholarships for support

We hope to inspire Rhodes alumni to support Scholars-in-residence every year as part of lifelong fellowship.  Please consider how much you could commit on a monthly or annual basis and join your fellow Scholars in giving back.

And, finally, first gifts are always especially welcome and impactful!  Just over half of all living Rhodes Scholars have made a gift to the Trust and we would love to raise that level further.

"I gave a gift for the first time in June 2020, even if small for now, because I remember needing help as a student and Rhodes House being there for me. It was later that I understood how that help was financed, and I just want to try and be there for that student who now needs some help to be OK." Soufia Siddiqi (Pakistan & St Anne's 2010)


How the Scholars Fund was used 2019-20

Last financial year (2019/20), unrestricted giving was allocated as follows: Scholar Support (35%); Scholar Research principally 4th year fees (34%); Programming such as the Character, Service and Leadership programme (22%); Collaborative activity such as convenings (6%); Warden’s Discretionary Fund (2%).



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Tax-effective giving is available for taxpayers in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, and the United States.

Please contact david.mungall@rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk for more information. 

Thank you!