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Why support the College?

Philanthropy is deeply rooted in the history of the College. We were founded by two Victorian social pioneers who were committed to education and knowledge and were inspired to bring what these can offer to everyone who might benefit.  At the time, this meant being among the very first colleges in the UK to give women access to higher education.

Elizabeth Jesser Reid, a pioneering social reformer, founded Bedford College in 1849 as the first college in Great Britain for the higher education of women.

Thomas Holloway, a self-made multi-millionaire who made his fortune in patent medicines, founded Royal Holloway in 1886 after he took his wife’s advice that a college for women would prove ‘the greatest public good.

Today, the spirit of philanthropy and social inclusion so characteristic of the Victorian age is going from strength to strength. The generosity of donors continues to prove that high fees and a challenging economic environment need not be barriers to education.

Now, more than ever, your support is essential to build on our strengths with the aim of delivering personalised education that inspires students to succeed at university; academically and socially and be ready for life beyond campus.

With your support we will do this by providing scholarships, funding internships and placements through the Ignition Fund, supporting disabled students and providing opportunities for students to gain experience and develop skills through the Magna Carta Legacy project.

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Ruth, Bedford College 1961

“It’s fortunate for me that I can give donations where I want to and I want to help the College. I know there are financial constraints everywhere these days and so if I can give a little extra help, then I am pleased to do it."

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