New £750 “cost of living” scholarships to help students afford the basics

Staffordshire University has announced new £750 “cost of living” scholarships to help applicants who might be put off going to university

Nursing student in their uniforms

The University is also introducing £500 adult nursing scholarships to help to address a national shortage in students opting to go into the profession

We are aware that the cost of living crisis may be putting students off coming to university altogether which severely limits their life chances...that is why we have taken the decision to introduce scholarships for students from low-income families and get them off to the best possible start.

Professor Annabel Kiernan, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Academic

The University is also introducing £500 adult nursing scholarships to help to address a national shortage in students opting to go into the profession.

The planned £820,000 investment in scholarships is in direct to response to student worries about paying for essentials like food, rent and bills.

Last year, a survey of basic needs carried out with 500 students at Staffordshire University found that 93 per cent had concerns over the cost of living. The work was undertaken with the Purpose Coalition and findings were shared at both Conservative and Labour Party Conferences.

Pro Vice-Chancellor – Academic, Professor Annabel Kiernan said: “Our report underscores the urgent need for comprehensive, targeted support to ensure students can focus on their studies without the burden of worrying about their basic needs.

“We are aware that the cost of living crisis may be putting students off coming to university altogether which severely limits their life chances. Basic needs insecurities are not mere statistics; they are barriers to education, social mobility and overall well-being. That is why we have taken the decision to introduce scholarships for students from low-income families and get them off to the best possible start.”

The £750 cost of living scholarships will be paid in three equal instalments to all new undergraduates from households where the income threshold is less than £25,000. The £500 Adult Nursing scholarships will be paid to all students enrolling on the Adult Nursing degree course. Both scholarships will be allocated through enrolment and to qualify, applicants will need to share household income information via their student loan applications.

Staffordshire University has this week joined a call by the Royal College of Nursing for government to introduce a fee loan forgiveness scheme as a solution to the longstanding shortage of nurses across the NHS.

Associate Dean from the School of Health, Education, Policing and Sciences, Matt Rutter, said: “Although there is overwhelming public backing for a fee loan forgiveness for nurses, a shortage of applicants to our adult nursing courses is a problem that will not wait.

“We’re hopeful that the £500 scholarship, and an additional £750 for those from low-income families, will encourage more people to consider applying for adult nursing – a profession which was hardest hit during the Covid pandemic, but which plays such an important role in all our lives.”

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