£150 million is to be donated to Oxford by the US private equity billionaire and Trump advisor Stephen Schwarzman.
This is the biggest single donation to a UK university, and is to fund research and tackle the social implications of artificial intelligence.
The donation surpasses that of British businessman David Harding, who gifted £100 million to the University of Cambridge in February of this year. Historians at Oxford have stated that it is the largest donation “since the Renaissance” when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Chichele, gifted land to establish All Soul’s College in 1438.
The money will be used to create the Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, which will include a new Institute for Ethics in AI, as well as performing spaces and a library.
The UK government said it was a “globally significant” investment in Britain.
Speaking about the donation, Schwarzman told the BBC: it is “important for people to remember what being human is. Why are we here? What are your values? How does technology deal and interact with that.
“We should want it to be positive and productive for society, and technology can’t be allowed to just do whatever it wants because it can.”
The Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities is projected to open in 2024.
Photo: Stephen Schwarzman (by Remy Steinegger)