ONE of Oxford’s colleges has been given an “amazing present” towards its work in forging partnerships with schools across the country.

Merton College has been given £1m by Sir Howard Stringer, the chairman of Sony, and his wife Jennifer Patterson towards its schools liaison and access work.

Sir Howard studied history at the college, graduating in 1961.

The Warden of Merton, Professor Sir Martin Taylor said: “The Stringer-Patterson gift to Merton College for Access and Schools Liaison was an amazing present.

“It is one which will be of lasting value.

“Our full-time schools liaison and access officer offers a range of activities to help the very best students regardless of background make informed decisions about studying at Merton, and within the University of Oxford.”

Merton College has forged links with schools in Wiltshire, Dorset and the London Borough of Merton and more than 66 per cent of its UK students were educated in the state sector – the second highest of all Oxford colleges.

Since 2008 the university has raise more than £1.25bn as part of its Oxford Thinking campaign which has funded scholarships, academic posts and new buildings.