Cambridge Colleges and University strive to mitigate student hardship

Cambridge Colleges and University strive to mitigate student hardship

  • decorative

COVID-19 has dramatically altered our students’ university experience, radically changing the Cambridge they know and exacerbating any underlying disadvantages.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, many students across Cambridge have been affected by financial hardship. The Colleges, which are at the centre of student experience, have been providing financial support and pastoral care. Each College faces different circumstances and is responding to the crisis in a variety of ways, while ensuring student welfare remains a top priority.

In tandem, the University has created a dedicated fund to supplement College resources. To date, more than £500,000 has been donated to the fund. The money raised will go directly to supporting the students most in need. This will be through initiatives like emergency grants for travel costs and technology for remote learning. Longer-term, the fund may support a number of areas where students require additional resources, such as extended funding for PhD students whose research was interrupted by the pandemic, or those who need mental health support. 

I remember being a rather hard-up student and appreciating any financial help I received! And also realising what a difference a Cambridge education made to my whole life.

Donor Sally Alderson (Girton 1953)

Duncan*, an undergraduate studying English, is relieved by having additional support: “Normally I tutor GCSE and A-Level students during the holidays to help cover my living costs. All of the work over the Easter and summer vacations has been cancelled. Now I don’t have the same way to support my family, who are also facing financial difficulty because of COVID19.” 

Giulia* is studying for a PhD in Biochemistry and had to return to Italy at short notice, where she is finishing writing her thesis. She says “I cannot move home as my parents are elderly with underlying health conditions. I have already spent almost all my savings on paying double rent in Italy and Cambridge and cannot find work to cover the shortfall. It is such a relief to have support to pay this extra rent, as without it I would likely need to take out a loan.” 

Mark Wormald, Fellow at Pembroke and Secretary of the Senior Tutors Committee, is delighted that alumni are supporting students facing hardship. “It’s striking that, even in this time of financial downturn and difficulty, many alumni are thinking of students who are facing quite extreme situations and are doing what they can. This will not only help students to cope with short-term financial strain but — as recent research conducted by the University shows — will significantly alleviate their anxiety and enable them to plan for the future. It could really transform a student’s trajectory, so we are exceptionally grateful to all alumni who have supported students in hardship.” 

*Names have been changed to protect students’ privacy 

To find out more about supporting students in need and College priorities, please contact your College or:

Andrew Paterson

Senior Associate Director — Student Support

andrew.paterson@admin.cam.ac.uk

+44 (0)1223 332288

Make a gift now

Make a gift now to COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund by credit or debit card, or set up a direct debit:

Give online

Or, find out about other ways to give.

Related impact stories

Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education.

Decorative
Philanthropic impact story
The COVID-19 pandemic will have a “profound” impact on philanthropy through forging more active collaboration and ensuring more equitable responses, Bill Gates said in an interview with Badr Jafar (Churchill College, 1997), founding patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School.
decorative
Philanthropic impact story
A Cambridge-developed vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 could begin clinical trials in the UK in late autumn or early next year, thanks to a £1.9million award from the UK government.

Giving opportunities

Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education.

Research nurse from the NIHR Clinical Research Facility processing patient samples using SAMBA machines, Addenbrooke’s Hospital
The race is on to find a vaccine against the new COVID-19 coronavirus. Your support will make a difference.
Decorative
Help support students at Cambridge experiencing hardship in this crisis and beyond.