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St Luke's speed track

The Witness

Supported projects

Donations made to the Alumni Annual Fund support projects led by students and helping students. Donations of any amount directly impact the quality of the Exeter experience for our students, and the money is available across University departments, Sport, the Students’ Guild and FXU, and for all campuses. These donations are especially beneficial for students’ clubs and societies as well as study groups and student-led campaigns and projects. Read on to find out more about some of the diverse projects and initiatives that can go ahead because of regular donations from alumni and supporters.

Alumni Annual Fund, Summary 2017-18

Currently nearly 200 projects are being supported by generous donations to the Alumni Annual Fund. All these projects improve the university experience for students and the majority of projects are led and organised by students themselves – improving living and studying at Exeter for each other and future generations of students.

New Projects

From September 2017 to July 2018, departments across the University made 84 new awards worth £127,706 (including providing match funding to eligible crowdfunding appeals, increasing the impact of donations and the resources available for more projects to enhance students’ Experience at Exeter).

See below to find out more about some of the diverse and exciting projects and initiatives that are supported by donations from our alumni and supporters.

Snowsports Freestyle Equipment

8-10 pairs of used freestyle skis for beginners and freestyle team to practise and enable more students to participate in this part of the sport.



Promoting female participation in shooting

Replacing two worn out shotguns, with two new 20-bore shotguns suitable for female shots.



Canoe Polo boats

Funds to buy two new carbon fibre canoe polo boats – the club has 5 carbon fibre boats but a team has 7 players. With more players taking up the sport the club now also has a women’s team and demand for a 2nd open team.



AU Mental Health Campaign

Campaign focussed on members of sports teams to raise awareness of the issues, the services available, and that it's OK to talk about it. Removing the stigma around mental health can help improve the mental health of a number of students across the University.



Speleology Rigging Kit

Rigging gear including 40 new carabiners as well as a ‘HMS’ locking carabiner in order to keep up with the new demand of vertical caving. This will also enable more members to learn to rig this equipment, so they can explore other caves.



Student Tennis Workforce Development Project

Funding towards coaching qualifications to create a number of student tennis coaches at the University. These student coaches will run exciting and fun tennis sessions for the 500 Student Tennis Club members, and for non-students playing at Exeter Tennis Centre


    £900 over 2 years

Speed Track at St Luke’s Sports Centre

A portable speed track can be used with prowlers, sleds, tyres, parachutes and plyometric equipment. A valuable addition to circuit training, especially for Boxing, Rowing, Swimming and Triathlon clubs.



Sports Volunteer Scheme

Funds for clubs to train members as coaches to support their future development – volunteer coaches’ activity and input will be recorded through an AU process.


    £4,000 over 2 years

Sailing Club boat storage at Roadford Reservoir

Laying hard standing with secure anchor points and a storage shed for sails will mean the Club can keep all 12 Firefly dinghies safely and securely throughout the year, helping to keep it in the best condition and reducing additional maintenance costs.



St Luke’s upper sports hall

New exercise equipment including resistance and suspension apparatus, all clubs and students have access to the equipment for training and dissertation testing.



Leadership development in High Performance Programme

Introducing a leadership initiative for 1st team captains in high-performance and focus sports, to develop a collective performance mind-set and culture through workshops and involving expertise and training from alumni, the careers team and academic departments.


    £5,000 over 2 years

The Witness Politics Journal

Printing costs of term 1 and term 2 editions of this student-run politics journal, providing a forum for debate and discussion and opportunities for more students to write on political topics.



Razz Magazine Visibility Project

Display stands for Razz magazine on Streatham campus. Razz is a student-led arts and lifestyle magazine; greater awareness, availability and promotion of the magazine will lead to increased readership and more members and contributors to the magazine.



Project Refugee: Volunteering at Taunton RAFT Warehouse

Funding towards train travel for members of Be the Change Society volunteering at the RAFT (Refugee Aid From Taunton) warehouse – collecting, sorting and packing items donated for refugee camps around the world.



First Aid Society trip to Devon Air Ambulance Trust's Helimed facility

Coach hire for 25 students to visit DAAT’s Heli-med base, including a tour of the hangar, helicopter and medical equipment, talk from an advanced paramedic, training on how to load a patient and learning about the cooperation between first aiders such as St John Ambulance or students and an air ambulance crew in an emergency.



Promoting Competitive Chess

With a 50% increase in membership, the Chess Society would like to enable more members to participate in competitive tournaments at different standards. Funding will allow more members to compete in regional competitions.



Children in Care: From Different Perspectives

Panel discussion and networking event to raise awareness about children in care, speakers will talk about their experiences, roles and challenges, and ways in which the audience can help Children in Care. (Led by Avolve Society).



ExeTech Equipment Upgrades

Funds for a versatile and transportable lighting control kit for events and theatre, additional staging and rigging equipment, LED stage lights and light bars and radio microphone headsets. ExeTech provides support and equipment for a large number of theatre productions and events hosted by several societies and the Students’ Guild, both on campus and in Exeter city.



Sustainability project

Engineers Without Borders society building a V3 Power wind turbine from scratch, to give this to a community in need.



Academic talks for Natural History Society

Funds towards the cost of a guest speaker giving a talk open to members of the society, other students, university staff or the public.



Liz Fraser Talk

Liz Frazer is a writer and broadcaster on issues of mental health, creator of, which shares positive mental health stories. Funding will enable Mind Your Head Society to arrange and promote a talk by Liz on campus that is open to all.




Funds to support Exeter Entrepreneurs Society’s weekend-long hackathon event to create a business or action plans to help and alleviate homelessness in Exeter.



Chinese New Year 2018

Event costs and promotion for holding a Chinese Market in the Forum to celebrate Chinese New Year.



Kung Fu Society China Trip 2018

Subsidy for members of Kung Fu Society to travel to Hezhou in Guangxi Province, China, to train in Kung Fu skills with a Shaolin monk. These members will demonstrate and teach the skills they learn to future members of the society, and will be able to demonstrate of these skills to other societies and the public.



Exeter Carol Service

Funding towards costs of Evangelical Christian Union organising their 17th annual city-wide Carol Service, taking place at St James’ Park stadium on 3 December 2018.



Footlights present My Fair Lady

Funding towards costs of Footlights Society’s production of My Fair Lady at the Lemon Grove – May/June 2018



It Shoulda Been You

Funding towards costd of Shotgun Theatre Society’s production of It Shoulda Been You at the Lemon Grove – 3 nights in late May 2018.



Illuminations Edinburgh Fringe Show

Support for the production costs (e.g including venue hire) of Illuminations a capella group’s show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2018



Space Conference

Funding to support Space Exe society’s open conference for all aspects of space and astrophysics.



Summer Adventures

Exeter Student Volunteers' long-running two-week summer camp for young carers from Exeter and the surrounding area aged between 8 and 15 – the Summer Adventures camp gives these carers a chance to relax, have fun and take respite from their responsibilities at home, and enables them to build a supportive network for lasting with other young people with similar responsibilities.




Voices presents the experiences of students from specific minorities or oppressed groups, available online and in print with though-provoking events and campaigns. Voices provides a fresh and anecdotal perspective of current social political issues from our very own students.



FXU International Society

FXU International Society promotes internationality in FXU and the Penryn Campus, connecting students from around the world and celebrating festivities and cultures from outside the UK. We also organise trips for members to experience Cornish highlights such as the Eden Project and Minack Theatre.



Snakes in the classroom!

FXU Herpetology Society educates and raises awareness of the conservation of native and non-native amphibians and reptiles. By establishing links with local schools and herp-related organisations, the society will provide outreach learning with local schools and youth groups, as well as educating students in the University.



British Sign Language lessons

12-week course of BSL for students, arranged through Hearing Loss Cornwall




FXU Afro-Caribbean Society conference event with TED-style talks from influential speakers. Talks will give insight, perspective and discuss current issues affecting the black community around the world, including racism, colonialism and mental health in developing countries.



Generation Wild

Funding to increase the number of outreach sessions delivered by this student-led volunteering project. Generation Wild runs sessions in schools, scout groups, girlguiding units and other children's groups to educate children aged 6-14 about the environment and how they can protect it.



Biodiversity monitoring

EcoSoc will increase biodiversity surveys and monitoring on campus through activities such as bird ringing, moth trapping and small mammal trapping. This will provide practical conservation and species identification experience for students and data collected from surveys is sent to the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.



WildDocSoc, guest speaker events

WildDocSoc provides opportunities for students to make films about wildlife. These events will be open to all students and staff, and the documentary films made by WildDocSoc engage an even greater number of students.



Don't DisAbility Week

A week-long campaign raising awareness to all students of the support that is available on campus, for health and wellbeing, accessibility and all other student services, and celebrating collaboration and inclusivity on campus.



FXU Fencing  Equipment

Funds to enable this new club to buy equipment for members to train safely and allow us to operate as a self-sufficient club (without relying on other organisations for all equipment).



FXU Development Sports

Pilot funding to test a possible programme of ‘Development Sports’ at FXU – providing funding to enable a particular ‘Development Sport Club’ to grow and develop quickly



CSM Lacrosse 

Funding to play in South West Women’s Lacrosse league tournament events (most held in Gloucestershire).



CSM Hockey goal keepers’ equipment and player development

Funds for 4 club members to train as umpires – all competitive games require 2 umpires, and umpires in the club can aid the development of other players. New goalkeeping kit for both men’s and women’s teams will fit better and be more comfortable, aiding recruitment of new goalkeepers (essential for a game!)



Qualifications Kitty

Funds to support students looking to undertake training courses that will enable their community project or FXU group to operate safely or at a higher level. In exchange for the funding, individuals will volunteer with these skills to support the activity’s development.


    £4,000 over 2 years

FXU Touch Rugby

Playing kit for mixed touch rugby club, and support for teams entering tournaments such as the University Touch Series.



Mixed Netball League

Funding to begin a netball league for mixed teams on Cornwall campuses. This will build on the success of CSM Netball Club’s charity mixed netball tournament.



FXU Basketball club development

Funding towards playing kits for all teams.



BioBlitz 2018

24-hour event championing biodiversity and environmental awareness on Penryn campus. This event is open to all, the aim is to record all the living species on campus in 24 hours through organised activities such as pond and stream-dipping, meadow sweeps, species identification walks, bird-ringing and mammal trapping. Activities are led by student societies and local groups.



Riptide Journal, volume 12

Riptide publishes anthologies of new short fiction by both established and emerging writers, funding will enable students to be trained to work on producing the book. Students can then work on calling for submissions, reading and selecting stories to include, liaising with book shops, proof-reading, type-setting and design, publicity, social media and events.



South West Drama Conference

One-day student led conference on 'the value of a drama degree in a challenging time for the arts', with speakers from industry, workshops and panel discussions, open to students from Exeter and other institutions.



Practical Compassion in the Classroom

Training for seminar leaders to train students in the use of ‘practical compassion’ in seminar discussions, in order to ensure an equal spread of participation in discussions, despite potential difficulties of language, race, class or age.



Italians in Exeter: Memories, Migration and Language

Working with the leader of the Italian Cultural Association we will train students to interview (in Italian) local Italians about their experience of migration and memories of Italy. Then code, edit and subtitle videos of these interviews to create a series.


    £1,564.80 over 2 years


Support for taking DiceBox Theatre Company’s new original play ‘Plucked’ to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside a successful crowdfunding appeal. ‘Plucked’ uses physical theatre and dark comedy to highlight animal welfare concerns specifically focusing on the cruelties of the factory farming industry.



Exclamat!on conference

Exclamat!on is a journal for postgraduate students, it is interdisciplinary between English, Creative Writing and Film. The conference looks ahead to the next issue of the journal, with presentations on the theme of 'network and connections' for contributors to receive feedback and hone their articles to submit for the next issue. The conference will also enable students to meet others in their field, hopefully fostering further collaboration.



Screening of 'FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement'

Showing the documentary film ‘Fixed’ at 2018 Postgraduate medical humanities conference. The film addresses questions regarding disability, the relationship between humans and prosthetic technologies, cyborg identities and human enhancement.



World Cinema Subtitling Pilot Project

Pilot project for Translation and International Film students to subtitle a foreign language film that is not available with English subtitles.

The Spanish 1965 feature Life Goes On (El mundo Sigue, Fernán Gómez) film will be digitised, subtitled in English and distributed for free online. It was only released on two screens in Spain in 1965, then immediately banned by Franco’s censors. Since then it has only been available for viewing in Madrid’s Film Archives and in a 50-year anniversary edition - released in 2015 with Spanish and French, but no English subtitles.



Global Exe

Global Exe addresses conflict resolution and community difficulties through interactive ‘Forum Theatre’ productions. This is led and arranged by students, with support and guidance from staff as part of the Students as Change Agents programme.



Canada House Networking Event

Funding towards travel for Canadian Law Society students to attend a networking event for Canadian law students and other Canadian legal professionals in the UK at Canada House. Opportunities like this will help Canadian law students prepare for life after Exeter either in the Canadian legal field, or if they choose to stay and work in the UK.



Volcube Derivatives Trading Platform

Subscription costs for 600 students to use Volcube trading game to practise and test options trading and pricing theories and methods.



Secrets to Success at University

Collecting advice from recent students for new students – “what advice would you give to a new student starting at the Business School?” – then providing this in engaging, interactive ways to new students.



Exeter Medics Netball Club

Funds for Medical School netball club to hire courts for practice and enter the University intramural netball league and National Association of Medical Schools netball league.


UEMS Truro SSU Conferences

Conference and exhibition for 60 year 4 medical students’ work from their longitudinal Special Study Units, organised and presented by the students.


INSPIRE student research scheme

Funds for an extra INSPIRE research placement. INSPIRE is organised by the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences to encourage medical and dental students to gain experience and understanding of research. Research studentships are open to students from their first until their penultimate year (years 1-4 for medics, years 1-3 for dentists.


Medical students’ common room in RILD

Renovate and refurbish the students’ common room at the RILD Building (at Royal Devon And Exeter Hospital, RD&E), used by up to 220 BMBS students each year when on clinical placements at the RD&E.


Public Involvement in the Education of Healthcare Professionals

Part of the funding for the Medical School’s stand at Exeter Respect Festival, staffed by volunteers including students and members of the School’s public involvement group. Students will gain insight into the different views that the public hold on health, illness and healthcare.


UEMS Undergraduate Student Conference 2018

Undergraduate courses in the Medical School (including Medical Sciences, Medical Imaging, Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences and Medicine) will share a conference at Exeter Racecourse. Sharing the event, networking and learning about the other medical disciplines will enhance the students’ inter-professional learning (IPL).


Exeter University Medics Football Club

Funds for participating in the National Association of Medical Schools sports tournament taking place in Manchester, as well as NAMS regional league.


The Inaugural South West Plastic Surgery Conference

The first ever undergraduate plastic surgery conference in the south west, organised by Exeter Surgical Society. The conference will provide a positive insight into the field of plastic surgery, tackle misconceptions and facilitate earlier access to this field for students.



LEND: LEave No BuDdy Behind

‘LEave No BuDdy Behind’ is a brief intervention to promote group regulation of behaviour and looking after each other on student nights out, particularly in terms of welfare and safety. Groups are reminded to look after each other and make sure everyone gets home safely, and given a business card with key phone numbers (e.g., estate patrol, taxis). This funding will enable detailed analysis of the data from the pilot trial of the intervention, to inform future improvements.



Devon explorers

Days out in Devon, especially for international students. Days out will be organised by staff with local stakeholders, including coastal walks, walks on Dartmoor, Plymouth and visits to small communities - connecting students to the fantastic, broader environment that Devon has to offer near Exeter.



Project Management for Wildlife Conservation (PMWC) Course

One of the most sought after skills for a career in conservation is project management, this course will enable up to 30 students to develop and practise these skills, and engage with local conservation professionals.



Wild Film Fest

A science communication festival, celebrating student wildlife storytelling, especially through film and photography.



Undergraduate Science Journal

A joint publication between students of Life and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences. The editors aim to publish 2 editions per year with a launch event and poster displays. Undergraduate students can submit reports of research projects, review articles about an area of scientific interest, essays or technical reports; these are peer-reviewed by postgraduate students.



HealthTech Hackathon

The Exeter & Queensland HealthTech Hackathon will be a 60 hour (3 day) event where our students combine their expertise to hack a health problem using technology. Students from different disciplines i.e. sport, health, physics, sociology, art, business, engineering, film studies, psychology, history, neuroscience will work with local patients and practitioners to ‘hack’ the problem and address a current critical heath issue with a technological solution.



Enhancing Resiliency in University Students

Mental health difficulties are increasing in the University student population. We will develop and design a self-help intervention informed by 'strengths based' Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to enhance personal resilience and promote successful engagement with study and student life.



Formula Student

Funding towards costs of developing a car to compete at Formula Student event held in July. The team uses knowledge they have gained from their courses, in a real-world application with industrial links. Over 50 students joined the team and students can also tailor their individual studies and final year projects to produce optimised components and reports for the team’s car. The project gives these students invaluable experience of working in a team and the engineering and business elements of large engineering design and manufacturing project.



CSM Museum - Modernisation, Interaction and Integration

Funds towards changing CSM Museum to an interactive and informative display space. This will include human and biological aspects in the museum, setting geology and mining in a wider scientific and human context.

New displays: Mining and Miners, Augmented Reality Sandbox (previously funded by the Alumni Annual Fund), Fossils and Evolution, The Future of Mining, Biology and Mineralogy. The new cabinets used will also allowing more displays to be created and spare material to be stored, enabling regular changes to the displays.



Pint of Science

An annual, international, cross-discipline outreach event held in pubs and cafes in major cities every May. The idea is to engage in innovative science in a relaxed, friendly and interactive environment. Each city’s events are organised locally by a group of postgraduates and post-doctoral staff, with talks and events covering all aspects of scientific research.



High Energy Physics: Tracking Muons in the Southwest

Building a muon telescope out of modular particle detectors that can also be used as small hand-held devices suitable for outreach and deployment in local secondary schools.

We can detect muons with accessible and affordable technology built and controlled by students. Individual detectors will enable individual students to experiment, and combined together, a multi-pixel muon telescope will be portable and suitable for taking to public observing nights, local schools, or established contacts like the Norman Lockyer Observatory (at Sidmouth).



Towards a Framework for Supporting PGR Writing

Training for up to 20 postgraduate research students and Early Career Researchers to run writing groups in their department or discipline. This will provide regular time and space for postgraduate researchers to get together and write – a structured approach to offering writing groups for these students.


    £4,500 over 3 years

St Luke’s Swimming Pool access

Funds for a Pool Hoist to provide disabled access to the pool on the St Luke's Campus.



Reusable coffee cups on campus - reduce usage of paper cups

Funds to supply free reusable cups for students to use in campus coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. This will reduce the number of single-use cups that are given away, ‘disposable’ cups are very difficult to recycle. Reusable cups will also be available to buy on campus.

Use of reusable cups on campus is already estimated to have reduced the use of paper cups by over 45,000 cups since September 2017.