Financial News reports today that Goldman Sachs Gives (UK) - the charitable arm of the US investment bank, contributed £500k towards scholarships at Eton, last year. It also contributed £575k to Christ Church College Oxford.
Eton is, needless to say, one of the UK's most prestigious public schools. Christ Church is one Oxford's most prestigious colleges and according to university data, accepts one of the lowest proportions of state school pupils of all the colleges in Oxford University. Goldman's contributions are intended to help underprivileged students into both institutions, and can be seen as anti-elitist. Equally, however, by donating money to the most elite educational establishments in the UK, it could be argued that Goldman is also emphasising the need to join established elites to get ahead.
Banks like JPMorgan are encouraging applications from underprivileged students. Goldman Sachs has also donated £3.6m, to the 'Greenhouse Schools Project', a charity which uses sports and arts programmes to teach disadvantaged 11 to 16 year olds in London.
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