Scholarships on offer following gift from Iraqi exile

An Iraqi exile, who sought asylum in Britain, is set to offer £90,000 worth of new scholarships to students taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees at the University of Sheffield, by way of gratitude to the country where he was educated.

Nearly 100 students at the University will receive bursaries worth £1,000 each thanks to the generosity of property developer Dr Naim Dangoor.

The funding to the University of Sheffield forms part of a £3million total scholarship donation from Dr Dangoor to some of the nation's leading universities included within the Russell Group and the 1994 Group. In total, his donation is worth £4 million with matched funding from the Government.

The bursaries, to be called the "Eliahou Dangoor Scholarships" after Dr Dangoor's father, will be given out by the University of Sheffield to new students from the UK, with the funding divided into £30,000 a year for the next three years. The first bursaries will be given out this autumn.

Dr Dangoor, now 95, studied engineering at a London university in the 1930s, before returning to Iraq, where he developed a property and manufacturing business. In the 1960s, amidst political upheaval in Iraq, Dr Dangoor left Iraq and his business behind to seek refuge in the UK. It was here that he created another property business, which has already funded a number of causes, including supporting a journal for the Jewish Iraqi community and a community centre for other immigrants in West London.

Professor Paul White, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield, said: "This is a wonderful and generous gesture by Dr Dangoor. It will be of great benefit to students who receive the scholarships, but it also shows how important university education is in generating life-long feelings of international commitment and support."

Miles Stevenson, Director of Development in the Alumni Department, said: "Dr Dangoor's gift of scholarships is a tremendous act commemorating his father's memory and will help hundreds of students studying at the best universities in the country. The University of Sheffield is most grateful to Dr Dangoor. Philanthropy on this scale shows remarkable foresight and generosity of spirit."

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