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Tuesday, 23 May, 2000, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Gates to fund Cambridge scholarships
Bill Gates
Bill Gates: Scholarships will rival Rhodes Foundation in Oxford
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is to spend 130m on funding 230 scholarships to Cambridge University.

The move will create the biggest international scholarship scheme ever seen in Britain.

Money from the personal charity set up by the boss of the US software giant will also establish a Bill Gates House at the university to be used as a students' centre.

The charity's board is expected to meet next month to approve the proposals, according to a report in The Times.

King's College Cambridge
Boost for Cambridge University
The plan will create a rival to Oxford University's Rhodes Scholarships.

The Rhodes Foundation, started with a 4m endowment from Cecil Rhodes, funds scholarships at Oxford University for students from countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

But Mr Gates' scholarships will be open to people of any nationality and the students will be able to study any subject.

Mr Gates, who dropped out of Harvard University when he was 20, has already given the Cambridge University 12m for a computer laboratory.

His charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was set up with the aim of improving people's lives through health and learning.

In April the foundation announced it was giving 38m over five years to help protect young people in Africa against the threat of HIV and Aids - the biggest donation by a private foundation to support Aids prevention among young people.

Last year it donated 503m over five years to get life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries.

And in June last year the fund gave 3.2bn to the William H Gates Foundation run by Mr Gates' father - a charity which issues grants to tackle world health problems.

It was believed to be the largest individual donation ever made to a charity.

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See also:

04 Apr 00 | Africa
Gates gives $57m to fight Aids
24 Nov 99 | Americas
Gates pledges $750m vaccine fund
04 Jun 99 | Your Money
Bill Gates' $5bn donation
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