The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide Oxford University with a £200 million loan, the largest sum ever lent by the bank to a European university. The 30-year loan from the EU’s bank for long- term investment will be used in the funding of the University’s plans to upgrade and replace buildings across the city. This includes the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and an expansion of the University’s Old Road Campus in the east of Oxford.The new financial support was announced on a visit to Oxford last month by the EIB Vice-President, Jonathan Taylor, who was welcomed by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, along with students and staff involved in the development projects. Professor Hamilton commented, “Oxford’s internationally outstanding facilities and resources are key to our position as a global leader in education and research. The European Investment Bank has shown a great understanding of our ongoing investment plans for highly advanced buildings and equipment.”“Their support now gives us greater freedom to progress our vision of a continually evolving campus, enabling world-leading academics to tackle the great research challenges of the 21st Century.” Vice President of EIB Jonathan Taylor said in a statement, “Investment in research facilities and teaching is essential to unlocking new ideas and scientific discoveries and the Euro- pean Investment Bank is committed to sup- porting investment at leading universities across Europe.”“The new loan will strengthen research and learning across a broad range of disciplines here in Oxford and ensure that the University continues to be at the forefront of global research. The size of the EIB’s support, through the largest ever university loan, and that the UK is the largest recipient of EIB loans for university development reflects the expected contribution of the impressive range of capital investment being considered both here in Oxford and across the country.” The EIB loan will help to support specialised research in the sciences at Oxford. Developments planned at the Old Road Campus include housing provision for up to 600 more scientists. A number of new laboratories for interdisciplinary bioscience are to be constructed, and funding for further research into drug discovery at the Target Discovery Institute is planned. Following this announcement, the UK’s position as the largest beneficiary of EIB university lending has been further secured, with Oxford University receiving a particu- larly large share. The £200 million loaned to the University alone accounts for approximately 14 per cent of the £1.45 billion in EIB loans granted to UK universities over the last five years. The EIB also provides funds for a variety of other projects across the UK, including hospitals, renewable energy and water and sewerage infrastructure. The bank was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1958, and last year the bank’s total lending reached €77 billion. Around 10 per cent of that money is lent to non-EU countries.
Africaâ€™s best table tennis playing nations â€“ Nigeria and Egypt are scheduled to renew their rivalry at the ITTF Africa Cup holding in Agadir, Morocco.Egypt as the defending champions will be relying on their stars â€“ Omar Assar and Dina Meshref who are hoping to hold on to the title they won at Yaounde 2015 in Cameroon.According to the President, ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, the favourites for this tournament are Nigeria and Egypt but countries like Congo Brazzaville, Algeria and Tunisia would not be pushovers when the championship serves off on July 1.The three-day championship serves as qualifications for the ITTF World Cups with winners in the men and women events representing the continent at the prestigious tournaments holding later in the year.Every country competing at the championship are expected to register four players made up of two men and two women while defending champions â€“ Egypt will have six players made up of three male and three female taking part in the competition.Already as part of his efforts to excel at the tournament, menâ€™s singles defending champion, Egyptâ€™s Omar Assar is at present competing at the China Open in order to be in top form for the continental tournament.The tournament initially scheduled to be hosted by Mozambique, was awarded to Morocco after the inability of the Mozambique government to confirm its readiness to host the championship.The ITTF Africa boss, however, lauded the Morocco Table Tennis Association (MTTA) for accepting to host the competition within a short notice.â€œThe Executive Council (EC) of ITTF Africa decided to step down the event from Mozambique due to lack of communication and delay in signing the contract by Mozambique. The new host â€“ Morocco will host the tournament in Agadir at the same venue and hotel that hosted the 2016 African Championship last October,â€ he said.â€œI understand that it is quite difficult for any nation to host a major event in short time but we count on the experience of MTTA having hosted many international events in the last five years. I believe they have a very good hospitality and venue,â€ El-Salhy added.Â Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram