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Gift economy

A report out today suggests that universities are getting better at securing philanthropic donations, but there is more to the data than meets the eye.

There are a number of ways that universities can look to extract money from their former students. Encouraging departing graduates to exit via the gift shop is one such approach, and a glance at some of the items on sale from university boutiques can be something of an eye-opener.

For example, graduates of the University of Cambridge can show their institutional pride by purchasing the “official, limited-edition University of Cambridge watch”—a snip at just £2,995; or perhaps you might like a University of Oxford blue pinstripe fountain pen, yours for just £599.99?

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