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Higher Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 141517, tabled on 21 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what methodology his Department used to determine the level of the one-off funding of £20 million to higher education providers in December 2020 to help to address student hardship during financial year 2020-21.

Answered on

2 February 2021

We realise that this is an incredibly difficult time for students and are aware of the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 outbreak will have on some students. The up to £20 million of additional hardship funding has been made available to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students.

The level for this funding was set following discussions with Student Money Advisers within higher education providers and with reference to the views of providers gathered by Universities UK.

The funding has been targeted towards those providers who recruit and support high numbers of disadvantaged students, reflecting where this funding is needed most to enable students to continue with their courses and achieve successful outcomes.

We asked the Office for Students to ensure that the funding is available to students as quickly as possible, so that it can meet the immediate needs of students and be allocated by the end of this financial year (31 March 2021).

On the 2 February 2021 we announced that we are making available a further £50 million of hardship funding for this financial year, for higher education (HE) providers to use to support students in greatest need. This funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including international students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding which HE providers are also able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds. We shall continue to monitor the situation going forward to look at what impact this funding is having.