HE may be a cash-strapped student but an Oxford University undergraduate has already pledged to give away at least £200,000 of his future earnings to charity.

Rather than dreaming of the day he can afford to buy flash cars and have money to spend on other luxuries he has instead signed up to donate 10 per cent a year from his future salary.

Tom Rowlands, aged 22, has made his pledge after being inspired by a talk given by university post doctoral research fellow in ethics Dr Toby Ord.

Dr Ord has established Giving What We Can, an international society dedicated to eliminating poverty in the developing world. He led by example by giving away everything he earned over £20,000, which adjusts with inflation, to a variety of “effective” charities.

He has calculated that he will part with £1 million over the course of his career.

Now Tom who is reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Harris Manchester College has pledged to do the same.

The Bolton School old boy from Westhoughton, who is considering a career in politics, said: “When I saw him, he looked healthy, and happy.

“It did not seem a big deal to be living within £20,000.”

He added: “It was a powerful idea and interesting. A few people signed up there and then. I thought about it afterwards and subsequently signed up. I was really convinced it could work.”

The organisation recommends charities that are the most effective at making a difference.

Tom said: “I have pledged 10 per cent of my salary based on earning £40,000 a year, but I hoping to give a lot more than the £200,000 that has been calculated.”

He added: ”It is manageable, the student loans I have are deducted before the 10 per cent is taken and it is also linked to inflation.

“I think all the worry about the economy can sometimes help us re-evaluate what actually matters—the average person in the UK is still well within the top five per cent of the richest people in the world.

“I've been so lucky to have had such a great start in life— and I can give something back without sacrificing any of the things I enjoy, like playing football, going to concerts and having holidays abroad.”