Polly Jones, your Vice President Academic Experience
Big Win: £800,000 towards supporting students with Digital Poverty 16/2/21
Following intense conversations and consultations of how best to spend the government investment of £1.4 million to support students in hardship, the majority has been put towards ensuring continued and maximised support for those students without a laptop of wi-fi.
For those of you who have struggled through this pandemic, either by having little to no access to the internet, or having little to no access to a laptop, this is a huge win. This has come about as a direct result of our continual work to highlight Digital Poverty as a key issue that needs support and finance from the University.
To break it down:
- £800,000 has been split into two pots to support both laptops and internet connectivity.
- £400,000 Digital Enablement Fund, comprising of £100 for each of the first 4,000 students claiming IT connectivity support. This is to help pay for access to the internet and data allowances.
- £400,000 Digital Support fund, providing laptops for eligible students with no/limited access to a laptop at present.
The Digital Support fund will provide laptops for life to the students, following the key considerations being taken on board of the importance of laptops for life essay written by me!
Students who the University believe are eligible for one or more of the above funds will be contacted directly, with more information and details of how to apply.
Big Win: Hardship Fund now allows money to be used to fix broken laptops! 10/1/21
The Hardship Fund – a pot of money put towards supporting students facing unforeseen financial shortfall or ‘hardship’, previously did not offer support or help towards funding the repair of a laptop or technological support and cost. Following extensive discussions around the Hardship Fund and the importance of supporting for laptop repairs and technological costs for access to learning, these have now been included! The University explained these changes in an email to eligible students.
The University’s Hardship Fund provides grants for students experiencing financial difficulties. If you are unable to afford an unexpected cost, the Fund may be able to help.
You may need help with the cost of repairing a laptop or purchasing a data dongle, or you may be facing additional accommodation costs due to the current pandemic.
Applications are open to UK, EU and international students following a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course on campus.
All applications are means-tested and supporting evidence is required. An award is not guaranteed. The Fund cannot help with the payment of tuition fees.
Find out more on iCity
Big Win: Mid-Long Term Laptop Loans Now Available 20/1/21
Following continuous lobbying and discussions with the University, some students may now be able to access a small supply of laptops to act as their own computers as a temporary laptop loan. This is a huge win for students – and if you are requiring a laptop, get in touch with your Faculty staff and course leaders and they will forward you to the laptop loan availability.