Oxford

Oil tycoon's £75m gift for Oxford University school

Leonard Blavatnik
Image caption Leonard Blavatnik is a regular on the Sunday Times Rich List

A Russian-born businessman is to help fund a new £100m School of Government at Oxford University.

Leonard Blavatnik, 53, whose fortune is estimated at £3bn, is giving the project £75m.

It is hoped more than 40 academic posts and a new building will be created on the university's new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.

"This is a visionary act of philanthropy," said vice-chancellor Prof Andrew Hamilton.

'Most generous'

He added: "It is a major vote of confidence in Oxford with the potential to transform how we and the rest of the world approach government and public policy issues."

The university describes Mr Blavatnik's donation, which may rise to £100m, as "one of the most generous" gifts in their 900-year history.

Mr Blavatnik is founder of Access Industries and made his money in oil and other industries. He is now based in the United States.

University administrators hope the new school will open in 2012, and offer a one-year Master's degree.

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