The government has set up a $1 billion fund to encourage private donations to universities by matching them. The scheme will apply to donations received between August 1 and March 31 next year. Under the scheme, private donations up to a total of $45 million for each institution will be matched dollar for dollar. After the amount of donations received by an institution exceeds $45 million, $1 from the fund will be awarded for every $2 of private donations. The maximum amount in government grants each institution can receive under the scheme is $250 million. It is the second time in the past three years that the government has awarded matching grants to the universities. The first scheme, which was also worth $1 billion, began in July 2003. It was regarded as a great success, with universities managing to secure $1.3 billion in private donations by the time it ended on June 30 last year.