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Uni of Melbourne hits A$500m fundraising target

The University of Melbourne in Australia is celebrating reaching its fundraising campaign target of A$500m two years earlier than scheduled. The “Believe” campaign was launched in 2013 with an aim to raise $500m by the end of 2017. The money raised so far is $504m.

An institute for entrepreneurship and a centre for contemporary art are success stories for the University of Melbourne campaign

The university will channel its alumni network in the second phase of its fundraising campaign to become donors, mentors or volunteers

It was the largest fundraising campaign to ever take place in Australian history, according to the university, and the biggest public campaign to be undertaken by a university in the Asia Pacific.

Beyond Australia, significant donors came from the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Major gifts included $26m from Michael Buxton, including his collection of contemporary Australian art and funding for a new museum at Southbank, and $10m from alumnus Peter Wade for the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship.

Pamela Galli and the Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Foundation for Professorships contributed $10m to advance cancer research and explore child developmental medicine.

More than 20,000 donors collectively gave to reach this target and nearly 5,000 of these donors were under the age of 30.

Vice-chancellor Glyn Davis announced the university is to launch a second phase of the campaign with the aim of raising $1bn by 2021.

He said, “We’ve been able to provide more than $150m to educate tomorrow’s leaders, $120m towards enriching our communities, on top of the more than $230m raised for groundbreaking research in areas including, melanoma and skin cancers, childhood mental health and human rights law.”

Beyond Australia, significant donors came from the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the UK

“Our work remains unfinished,” said Davis. “Our aspiration is to engage 100,000 of our alumni by the end of the campaign in 2021 as active participants in the life of the university.”

The University of Melbourne and the University of Birmingham have also recently announced a new collaboration. The collaboration will be a PhD programme allowing 20 Priestly Scholars in engineering the chance to study with academics in both Birmingham and Melbourne.

The universities will be collaborating on research, education and cultural engagement. The £2m ‘Priestley PhD Fellowship’ reflects a 20-year relationship between the two institutions.

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