Struggling Students To Have Access To £50m Covid-19 Government Hardship Fund.
University students facing financial pressures due to the pandemic will have access to an additional £50 million support fund from the Government, a minister has said. Universities will be able to use the extra funding to help students facing the loss of employment, additional costs for alternative accommodation, or to support access to remote teaching amid Covid-19.
The majority of university students in England have been told to stay at home and not return to campus under the latest lockdown, sparking calls for greater financial support.
A number of universities have moved lessons online and away from face-to-face studies until even later in the academic year, prompting campaigns for rent rebates for term-time accommodation and tuition fee refunds. In December, the Government announced a one-off fund of up to £20 million to help students most in need of support in exceptional circumstances.
Now a further £50 million will be available, taking the total to £70 million for this financial year. The extra funding will be distributed by the Office for Students (OfS) directly to universities, which will prioritise the students most in need of help.
A number of universities and accommodation providers have already said they will not charge rent to students who cannot use their university halls, but campaigners and organisations representing students had called on universities, accommodation providers and ministers to go further with compensation to students facing lockdown disruption.
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