Responding to the government's announcement of additional student hardship funding, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:
Financial hardship has been a growing problem throughout this pandemic, significantly affecting students' mental health and their chances of progression. The government's recognition of this through a further £50 million of funding this term is therefore a positive step, and universities will do all they can to ensure the funding reaches the students most in need.
While the additional funding is welcome, the government must also acknowledge that student hardship is just one of many increasingly difficult issues facing students, universities and staff at this time. As the serious mental health impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, universities need further funding to alleviate the substantial increases in demand that university wellbeing and support services are experiencing.
Although university staff are making huge efforts to offer high quality online learning, the government should provide support that recognises that students are missing out on the wider student experience that they would benefit from in a normal year.