US billionaire gives Oxford University £150m | 2019-06-19

US billionaire gives Oxford University £150m


19th June, 2019 11:51:25 printer

US billionaire gives Oxford University £150m

The largest single donation to a UK university has been given to Oxford for a new institute that will study the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Stephen Schwarzman, a US private equity billionaire who has advised Republican presidents including Donald Trump, has given the university £150m.

A new building for the study of humanities will house the institute.

The UK government said it was a "globally significant" investment in Britain.

Governments 'utterly unprepared'

At a time when universities face uncertainty over research funding because of Brexit, this is a major financial coup for the University of Oxford.

Mr Schwarzman, the chief executive of the private equity firm Blackstone, is one of America's best known billionaires.

In the past, his lavish lifestyle as a Wall Street financier has attracted criticism, but more recently he has also become a major donor to education.

Mr Schwarzman told the BBC he was giving the money to Oxford because artificial intelligence was the major issue of our age.