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IEA launch Centre for Study of Liberal Economics


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The University of Buckingham and IEA launch Centre for the Study of Liberal Economics

The Institute of Economic Affairs is delighted to announce that Lord Vinson, entrepreneur and IEA life Vice-President, has today made a gift of £5.5 million jointly to the University of Buckingham and the Institute of Economic Affairs to widen understanding of the constitution of liberty.

The gift will go towards endowing the Vinson Centre for the Study of Liberal Economics, which will be placed at the heart of the University of Buckingham, now celebrating its 40th year. Buckingham was founded on the principles of free thinking and the new building will provide a dedicated centre for research and study reflecting the continuing ethos of liberal thinking for decades as the University expands.

As well as research collaborations between the University and the IEA, the centre will be used by economics students, Research Fellows and for conferences and internships.

Commenting on the announcement, Lord Vinson said:

“I’m very pleased to make this donation to widen the understanding of the freedoms that are the foundation of our society. The University of Buckingham relies on the generosity of donors. I did not go to university and have a profound belief in the importance of enterprise and hard work to society. The University of Buckingham is committed to both. I heartily approve of its two year degrees, its commitment to free thinking and freedom of speech and to its pioneering work in the study of entrepreneurship.

“The Vinson Centre will cement the relationship between the IEA and University of Buckingham. This gift marks the latest in an association that stretches back to the University’s beginnings. The IEA was one of the key forces and guiding spirits behind the foundation of the University.

“The Vice-Chancellor’s father, Arthur Seldon, was Editorial Director at the IEA when it was helping to set up the University of Buckingham. At the time I was a Trustee of the IEA and I subsequently went on be Chairman of the IEA. Anthony, Arthur Seldon’s son, is now Vice-Chancellor of the University.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon, added:

“The University is deeply grateful to Lord Vinson for his wonderful gift. This is a key part of the University’s £100m fund-raising campaign. We very much hope that others will be inspired by his example.

“The building, and the undergraduate and research programmes that take place within it, will be at the heart of the University of Buckingham for years to come.”

IEA Director-General Mark Littlewood, said:

“We are delighted that Lord Vinson has made this endowment to the University of Buckingham. He has been a long-term supporter of the IEA and is a wonderful philanthropist and champion of freedom. This gift will be crucial in strengthening the relationship between the IEA and Buckingham in their contribution to the understanding and practice of the constitution of liberty.”

Notes to Editors:

For any enquiries, please contact:

  • Diana Blamires, Publicity Co-ordinator, University of Buckingham: [email protected] or 01820 820 213

  • Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications, IEA: [email protected] or 0207 799 8909


The University of Buckingham was the UK’s first independent university when it was set up in 1976 and in 1983 it was granted a Royal Charter. Pioneering from the start, the University ran two year degrees, which other institutions have since started to do. Last year the University again led the way by successfully launching the country’s first independent Medical School.

The University of Buckingham is top in the UK for graduate employability, according to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures, which reveal 98.1% of students have a job or are in full-time education within six months of graduation.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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