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$210 Million Endowment to Provide International Scholarships in Perpetuity

One of the largest scholarships programs ever for university education is underway in Cambridge

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Alison McFarquhar
University of Cambridge
Phone: 44 (0) 1223 332300

CAMBRIDGE, England -- One hundred fifty-one of the brightest young people in the world have begun the new academic year at Cambridge — the first of the Gates Cambridge Scholars. These scholars come from 51 countries and will be studying subjects across the whole field of knowledge: arts, sciences, humanities, social sciences, technology and medicine.

Establishing a trust worth $210 million, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation set up a scheme that will run in perpetuity and enable gifted graduate students to study at Cambridge. Graduate students from every country in the world outside the UK are eligible to apply for scholarships; the scholarships cover all costs, including tuition, maintenance and travel.

The Gates Cambridge Scholars have been selected on grounds of academicability and leadership potential. The program is being built up overthe next three years and eventually, it is expected that at any one time there will be more than 250 Gates Cambridge Scholars in residence.

Through this initiative the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to create a network of future leaders who will bring new vision and commitment to improving the life circumstances of citizens in their respective countries. The program will draw talented applicants from around the world, people from a wide array of backgrounds, representing a span of interests. Over time, it is anticipated that Gates Cambridge Scholars will take a lead in addressing global problems related to health, equity,technology, and learning -- all areas in which the foundation is deeply engaged.

"This first class of scholars brings some of the best and brightest students from around the world to Cambridge," said William H Gates, Sr., co-chair and CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "In years to come, we hope they will be leaders in their fields and contributors to their home countries."

For Cambridge, the benefaction is the largest single sum that the University has ever received. Sir Alec Broers, University of Cambridge vice-chancellor chairman of the Gates Cambridge Trust, is delighted to welcome the scholars to Cambridge.

"We have always tried to bring in as wide a range of international students as possible through our independent trusts. However, this amazingly generous benefaction takes things to an entirely new level and will eventually bring over 250 more students here to study, primarily at graduate level. We are very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their vision in establishing a scheme that ensures some of the brightest young people in the world will have the chance to study here."

The scholarships are for a tenure of one to three years, with the possible extension of a fourth year.

Students can apply now for entry in October 2002 through: or by telephoning the Gates Cambridge Trust Office at (00 44) 1223 338467.

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