£2.5m uni donation by sheik

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DURHAM University has accepted a donation of £2.5million from a Kuwati sheik who quit as the country’s Prime Minister after allegations of corruption.

Sheik Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah, of Kuwait’s royal family, made the gift to fund research into international security.

Donated from his personal fortune, he launched the programme during a visit to the North East earlier this month.

The sheik resigned from his post almost a year ago after questions were raised regarding bribes to government MPs, with hundreds of young Kuwaties taking to the streets to demand his exit.

After the donation, the Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah Programme in International Relations, Regional Politices and Security, has been launched which the university says will promote research into a greater understanding between Kuwait and the UK.

However, when the programme was first discussed last year, a group of unidentified university staff calling themseves Concerned Academics spoke out in protest at the move, calling the sheik an unelected premier.

Durham University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Chris Higgins, said: “Durham University is extremely grateful for the generous support we have received from His Highness Sheik Nasser for its students’ education, intercultural activities and research.”