The UK government recently announced that it will provide an additional £15 million in hardship funding for international students.
Nairametrics gathered that UK universities will be given the funds to give to students who are having a hard time keeping up with rising costs.
According to the government, this will expand upon the $261 million student premium fund that was allocated this year to help underprivileged students.
What they are saying
The additional funding, according to Robert Halfon, minister for skills, apprenticeships, and higher education, will supplement the assistance that universities are offering through their bursary, scholarship, and hardship support schemes.
Although she welcomed the funding, Chloe Field, vice president of NUS for higher education, said that hardship funds are “a quick fix to a long-term problem that has come to a head in the cost of living crisis.“
Non-UK students received support last year
The data published by the PIE news this week demonstrates the ongoing need for universities to provide additional financial aid to international students. Students have continued to ask for assistance this academic year, and several British institutions paid out over £100,000 in hardship funding to non-UK students during the 2021–2022 academic year.
Tim Bradshaw, CEO of the Russell Group, also said more government assistance is needed. “Without it, we are concerned this will have an increasing impact on students’ studies and wider mental health and wellbeing,” Bradshaw said.
This is because financial hardship can affect students wherever they choose to study, regardless of their institution’s particular bureaucratic status. Students should be able to count on the same support from the government irrespective of whether their college or university receives other government grants.
Alex Proudfoot, CEO of Independent HE, said it was disappointing that the new funding would only be available to fee-cap registered institutions, rather than all providers approved by the Office for Students.
Universities urged to provide more beyond student daily meals
Vivienne Stern, CEO of Universities UK, welcomed the new funding.
“Throughout this cost-of-living crisis, our members have stepped up to provide support to students, from daily meal deals to increasing hardship funding, universities are working hard to offer much-needed help to students. This extra funding from the government will help to shore up their efforts,” she said.
Chloe Field, vice president of NUS for higher education also urged the government to take additional steps, such as freezing rent.
What this means for struggling Nigerian students
This measure by the UK government will help students alleviate the rising cost of living in the UK whilst juggling studies.
If student rent can be frozen, this will even encourage more Nigerians to consider the UK as a first choice for international education. This will also be a big win for the UK as the country benefits from international student fees.