University of Exeter announces improved financial support for students during cost of living crisis
Following the initial announcement on 6 October, Vice-Chancellor Lisa Roberts has stated that there will be further support available to students who are struggling financially this year.
In an email sent on 6 October, Roberts stated, “I know that the current pressures on the cost of living are making this start of term more challenging than ever”.
In response to this strain, she added “we have established a task force, working with your representatives in the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union, to explore all the ways in which we can help”.
We have established a task force, working with your representatives in the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union, to explore all the ways in which we can help.Vice-Chancellor, Lisa Roberts
This initial correspondence announced the allocation of an additional £1m to aid students who are experiencing financial difficulty this year. Financial circumstances will also be included as a mitigation reason for assessments and exams throughout the academic year.
Further correspondence sent to students on 19 October revealed that the University is working on a “further package of support”. The core aim of this plane is to provide one-off winter payment of £150 to all undergraduate home-fee paying students with a household income of less than £30,000.
Regarding postgraduate students, the University has “committed to the 13 per cent rise in the PhD Stipend” and have pledged an additional £250,000 to its Hardship Fund to provide support to self-funded PhD students.
On a wider scale, the University has pledged to make several ‘free’ products available on its campuses. The provision of free sanitary products will continue to be supported by the Students’ Union and Guild, and healthy snacks are soon to be introduced to college Hubs and University Info Points.
Roberts also stated that “we understand how important it is to stay active” and “to manage wellbeing” during the cost of living crisis. The University has therefore made various free and low-cost sports and gym sessions available to students.
It has also extended its ‘Give it a Go’ scheme, which allows students to try new activities at a low cost.
New measures also emphasise that all students can access the University’s Hardship Fund which can provide cover for essential living costs, as well as more specific costs such as technology. Advice on how to minimise living costs where possible will also be available to students in due course.