Hallam are asking for donations from graduates to provide paying students with laptops

Does nine grand a year not cover the temporary laptop?

Sheffield Hallam are encouraging donations from graduates to fund essential materials for current students such as course equipment and laptops, The Sheffield Tab can reveal.

Students have fiercely criticised the move, as they feel paying over nine thousand pounds a year should be enough to cover the cost of a temporary laptop given the emergency situation.

The scheme, marketed as the Sheffield Hallam Coronavirus Appeal, says it is trying to ensure ‘students have access to the equipment and resources they need’.

It comes following the decision to charge full tuition fees for the year, based on the claim that the standard of teaching and support is still high quality.

It has led to questions about why a multi-million-pound institution, which brings in hundreds of thousands of pounds from students, needs to rely on donations to provide their service.

Hannah, a Sheffield Hallam student, said: “This is ridiculous and outrageous. Students pay thousands and thousands every year. Graduates are already deep in debt and guilt-tripping them to fund a service that the uni should be providing is out of order.

“Sheffield Hallam shouldn’t be a f#cking charity and it is disgusting behaviour for them to act like it is.”

The anger is intensified following Hallam still facing calls to introduce a proper safety net for students.

But the uni’s VC, Sir Chris Husbands, supports the scheme and said:  “The launch of Sheffield Hallam’s emergency fund demonstrates our commitment to ensuring all our students, whatever their background or financial position, can continue to progress their degrees during this difficult time.”

Hallam told The Tab Sheffield that they have an above-average number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, whom they have already spent £600,000 providing support to. They denied that the scheme is because they cannot afford to provide the support themselves.

They said: “The appeal was set up to bolster the extensive support the University is providing and offer an opportunity for alumni and supporters to help through donations.

“Additional funds enable the University to provide enhanced support over a longer period of time.”