Governments across the UK announce additional funds to support students experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic

The PDA welcomes news of government funding being introduced across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to help students who have been impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, highlights the need for further funding to support access to mental health and well-being services for all young people.

Thu 4th February 2021 The PDA

An additional £50 million to support students in England was announced by the Universities Minister Michelle Donelan this week (2 February), which is in addition to the £20 million announced in December. As most students have been asked to continue their studies remotely as part of measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the funding aims to help students specifically impacted by the pandemic. The Office for Students (OfS) will distribute the funding to universities who will then be able to prioritise those most in need of support.

Diane Dodds, Northern Ireland Minister for the Economy has also said that £10.4 million has been allocated for student hardship, and that a wider package of measures will be announced later this week.

Back in January, the Welsh government announced a £40m package of support for students facing financial hardship, and the Scottish Government announced that £20 million has been allocated along with a further £10 million to universities and colleges for income lost in providing rent rebates.

Osariemen Egharevba-Buckman, PDA Student Representative said:

“I welcome the additional funding from the government and encourage student members who are experiencing financial challenges to apply via their university. Many students would have taken part-time jobs to top up their finances, jobs which are no longer available.

Studying remotely has also had an impact on many students, paying for the additional items needed to keep safe and well and the impact on utility bills. It’s pleasing to see that the government has not forgotten the financial impact on students.”

Collette Bradford, PDA Director of Organising and Engagement said:

“Whilst some landlords and accommodation providers are offering rent rebates many are not, leaving thousands of students paying huge sums every month for term-time accommodation which they are unable to use, putting extra financial pressure on students who have to find alternative places to live.

We know that the pandemic has impacted significantly on the health and well-being of all young people, including students, and therefore we are also calling on all UK governments to provide additional funding for mental health services and support to be more widely available.”

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