Revealed: £398k of £1 million saved during the strikes will be spent on mental health

£716,000 will be spent on free graduation gown hire


After staff took part in four weeks of strike action in February and March this year, Manchester pledged that all money saved withholding staff pay would be used to benefit students.

A joint statement issued by the University and the Students' Union just over six months ago said the money would fund free graduation gown hire and be invested in student mental health and wellbeing.

The Manchester Tab previously revealed that the total amount of withheld pay amounts to over £1.1 million.

The university has now revealed that an estimated £716,000 of this money will be spent on providing free graduation gown hire. This is made up of £358,000 spent on gowns for the July 2018 graduation ceremony, along with another provisional £358,000 for the December 2018 ceremony.

Students graduating from 2019 onwards will not benefit from free gown hire and will have to pay as normal.

£140,000 of the deducted pay will fund three new Student Wellbeing Advisors. A further £258,000 will go towards funding a new student mental health centre, set to open for the 2019/20 academic year.

The University of Manchester came 20th out of 47 universities in The Tab's 2017 Mental Health Rankings, which showed the University spent £23.03 annually per student on mental health.

Before summer, students protested along Oxford Road and refused to pay their tuition fees in pursuit of compensation.

Student complaints then caused the University of Manchester's Facebook rating to drop to the second-lowest of any Russell Group university.

A University of Manchester spokesperson told The Manchester Tab: “The University is using some of this money to invest in three new Student Wellbeing Advisor posts which are due to be advertised for in the near future.

“Some of the money is also being used to part-fund a dedicated centre to help support higher education students with mental health needs, in partnership with the region’s other universities and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. This will be the first of its kind in the country.”