UK government to disburse £15m hardship funding for foreign students

The UK government has said that it will give international students an additional £15 million in financial assistance in times of need.

The government will send the funds to colleges, which will then give them to students who are having a hard time keeping up with the nation’s escalating prices.

The £261 million student premium fund provided this year, money intended to benefit underprivileged students, will be expanded upon, according to the British government, according to a report by The PIE News.

Minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education, Robert Halfon, said in a statement, “This extra funding will complement the help universities are providing through their own bursary, scholarship and hardship support schemes.”

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The UK national union of students’ vice president for higher education, Chloe Field, welcomed the funding but said hardship funds were “a quick fix to a long-term problem which has come to a head in the cost of living crisis.”

Field urged the government to take other steps, such as freezing rent.

The PIE News data indicates that there has been a persistent need among international students for greater financial support from universities. Many British schools reportedly paid out more than £100,000 in hardship funds to international students during the academic year 2021/22, and students have continued to ask for assistance this year.

Stakeholders have been raising their voices in support of increased government aid for foreign students studying in the UK.

The CEO of the Russell Group, Tim Bradshaw, calling for more government assistance, said, “Without it, we are concerned this will have an increasing impact on students’ studies and wider mental health and wellbeing.”

The CEO of Independent HE, Alex Proudfoot, 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, according to The PIE News.

Proudfoot wrote on Twitter: “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 government irrespective of whether their college or university receives other government grants.”

Also, the CEO of Universities UK, Vivienne Stern, welcomed the new funding, adding that, “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.”

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