What Magnitude Stands For
Magnitude was founded on the following core values and beliefs:
- Lack of finances should not equate to a lack of opportunity
A lack of financial resources alone should not deprive exceptionally promising young people, no matter who they are or where they live, from access to quality tertiary education
- University education should be put to good use – to benefit others
A university education comes with a responsibility to use it for the wider benefit of humanity.
- The world needs more responsible and effective leaders across all fields
Excellence and leadership are needed in every sphere of human endeavour. While not all the world’s challenges are caused by ineffective leadership, Magnitude believes that many can be solved with effective leadership.
Magnitude was founded in 2013 by Philip Merryweather, an Australian businessman, who received a free university education on leaving secondary school in Australia as a result of an Australian government policy introduced in 1974. Without this financial assistance, it is unlikely, given his family’s financial position at the time, that he would have been able to attend a leading university and to have made use of all the benefits that flowed from it.
After graduating in both Commerce and Law from the University of New South Wales, Philip went on to have a successful global business career in international law, investment banking and private equity.
The Magnitude Programme draws on Philip’s personal experience to make opportunities for university education more widely available to hard working young people in financial need and who want to go on to use it for wider public benefit.
“We believe that a student’s merit, rather than a parent’s wealth, should decide who should benefit from the community’s vast financial commitment to tertiary education.”
Gough Whitlam, 1972
Our impact lies in making education more widely accessible to people in financial need. Magnitude aspires to increase its scholarship offerings around the globe so that it is able to offer more than 200 scholarships per year which is the equivalent to one in every country in the world. In this way it hopes to develop, over the long term, a growing global network of leaders committed to advancing the interests of humankind in their field of study.
Magnitude’s central interest is the ‘advancement of humankind.’ By fostering exceptional people, we hope to see great contributions made to the world in a variety of ways, and the development of outstanding leaders.
In this way our success will really be a measure of the success of our scholars and how they use their education for the benefit of the world around them. In some instances, it may be the case that Magnitude’s impact is not fully realised until later in the scholar’s life. While we recognise this, we are focused on deriving the maximum public benefit from our graduates in their chosen fields, achieving their objectives and goals and remaining as a resource for them to draw on throughout their career.
Administrative Cost Funding
Core administrative costs of Magnitude are underwritten by its founder. This means that funds raised externally will be used by Magnitude specifically for scholarships. The initial scholarships awarded under the pilot have also been similarly underwritten by its founder.
Magnitude intends at the successful conclusion of its pilot programme to raise external public donations to fund more students internationally.