Exeter Uni ‘appeals’ for grads to donate money to students suffering financial hardship

Next they’ll be asking people to sponsor a student for just £1 a week!

Exeter University has asked Exeter graduates to donate money to current students who are facing financial hardship.

The email sent out to Exeter alumni, describes the “Success For All Appeal”, urging graduates to donate money to assist current students.

This comes after previous Vice Chancellor Steve Smith received a salary of £421,000 in 2018-19, and was expected to receive a payout of £830,000 in 2021 following his “commitment and outstanding performance” to the university.

The email, discussed the ways the university has been helping students who are financially compromised, saying: “Your University has been providing financial support to students since March and is continuing to do so now, in the form of rent rebates, payments for IT equipment, travel bursaries and assistance for other unexpected bills.

“Since we launched the Success For All emergency hardship fund last year, the University has disbursed around £1 million within the student community”.

Professor Janice Kay, the email’s author, expressed her concern over students who are experiencing “unexpected financial challenges” which she claimed are “affecting their ability to study” and that “many are dealing with feelings of anxiety and loneliness”.

The email spoke of the “impact” of financial support provided by the university, which has been “immediate” and “received gratefully”. One student in a quote provided within the email said: I cannot quite express how much of a difference this is going to make. All I can say again is thank you so much. It is so wonderful that the University has put these measures in place – I was quite scared about how I was going to manage financially over these next few months, but this grant will allow me to survive whilst I figure out my next steps”.

Despite this, Professor Janice Kay made an appeal to Exeter graduates, saying: “But we need to provide more support. I am therefore asking you, as a member of our alumni community, to assist our most financially vulnerable students. Please donate to the Success For All appeal and join fellow Exeter alumni supporting Exeter students”.

Exeter grad Lydia, who received the email, told The Exeter Tab it was “disappointing” and the email could feel like a “kick in the teeth”, saying the university should look after its students.

She said: “As a recent graduate it was disappointing to see this email from Exeter, as I feel it should be their responsibility to look after their own students. Obviously I’d love to help any students who are struggling, however I’m not in a financial position to do so.

“Equally, sending out this email to alumni that may include graduates from the most recent academic year, could feel like a bit of a kick in the teeth when they struggled so much at the start of the pandemic.”

One Twitter user also discussed their thoughts on the email, tweeting: “Exeter Uni just emailed Cam regarding ‘students facing financial difficulty’ bitch you are a multimillion pound organisation and you paid your ex-Vice Chancellor a 400k bonus…for not leaving his job until 2021”.

Exeter University has been contacted for comment.

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