Mel Stride MP has welcomed the announcement from Universities Minister Michelle Donelan that £50 million of Government funding will be provided to support students facing financial difficulties arising from the impact of Covid-19. The funding is on top of the £20 million announced in December and is in addition to the £256 million of government-funded student premium which universities can use for student support this academic year.
The new funding means that universities will be able to help more students, 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.
Sam Scougall-Knight, one of Mel’s constituents who lives near Crediton and is in his final year of a Politics Degree at Exeter University, said:
“I have been lucky as I’ve been living at home and our online teaching has been very good and easily accessible. However, I have friends at Exeter and other universities across the country who are paying for accommodation they can’t use and many were relying on part-time jobs in order to pay for it – jobs that many now can’t do. As the rental sector is very much at the whim of private landlords the Government needed to step in and I’m pleased it has done so.”
Mr Stride said:
“Many students have been impacted severely by the pandemic and the Government is right to increase the support available to ensure more students get the help they need.”