Cambridge announces additional funding for students facing financial hardship

The university has provided details on how students can access additional government funding

Cambridge students received an email, this afternoon (15th February), informing them of additional funding being made available to students facing financial difficulties.

This follows a Government announcement of additional funding available to university students, with the email citing a letter from the Universities Minister detailing this funding.

The email, sent by the University’s Head of Student Funding, outlines that new funding will prioritise students facing additional costs from having to “maintain accommodation in more than one location” and “students experiencing hardship related to the purchase of IT equipment and connectivity services.”

Other students who may also be eligible for the funding include those who “have been unable to been unable to keep jobs based close to term-time accommodation”, “Students who have previously applied for hardship funding and now need additional support this academic year”, and “Students who have been forced to temporarily suspend their studies” for reasons such as recovering from COVID-19 or having to self-isolate.

Sally Ann-Gannon, the Head of Student Funding, writes in the email that:

“This extra funding is in addition to the funds that the University and Colleges make available every year to support students in financial hardship. If you do not fit into the five groups above, but are in need of financial support, you may still be able to apply for hardship funding.”

To apply for the funding, undergraduate students are advised to ask their Tutors to “apply on [their] behalf to the Bell, Abbott and Barnes Fund.” Postgraduate students are advised to apply for the Postgraduate Hardship Fund, and intermitting students to the Special Hardship Fund. The deadline for application to each of these is Monday 8 March 2021.

The letter from the Universities Minister that the email cites, from 2nd February 2021, said:

“We have ensured that £256 million worth of student premium money could be used flexibly in this academic year. In December we announced an initial £20 million of additional hardship funding and I am now announcing an additional £50 million for this financial year taking funding available to £70 million which can be used by April. We will continue to monitor the situation going forward and look at what impact this funding is having.

“The funding will be distributed by the Office for Students to universities, who will ensure it reaches those in greatest need including international students and postgraduates.”

The letter also reiterated that the government will announce plans for universities from 22nd February: “During the commencing the 22nd February we will announce the plan for university students and other educational settings.”

Feature image credits: Katie Thacker