The government has announced a major new package of funding to support students in financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Thousands of students will benefit from an additional £50 million to support them with financial pressures from the pandemic, which is in addition to the £20 million announced in December, bringing the total to £70 million for this financial year.
The new funding means that universities will be able to help students impacted by the pandemic, for example those facing additional costs for alternative accommodation, loss of employment, or extra costs to access their teaching online. Universities will distribute the funding and will be able to prioritise the funding to those most in need of help.
The increased financial support comes as the majority of students have been asked to continue their studies remotely, as part of measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
This announcement follows the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need stay away from their term-time address. The Government has encouraged others to join them and offer students partial refunds.
In the House of Commons, Greg welcomed this new funding, which will go a long way to supporting those who need it the most. But he also challenged the Universities Minister to go further for both students facing bills and the institutions and landlords standing to lose income, as it is a fundamental principle of fairness that if the state asks anyone to stop their usual activities, people should not be left in a position of of being out of pocket.