A hardship fund to support EU and international students in emergencies has been established at the University of Strathclyde.
The £18,000 fund is thought to be one of the first of its kind in Scotland and has been set up to benefit Strathclyde students from EU or other overseas countries who encounter unforeseen financial difficulty after starting their studies.
It has been supported by donations from Strathclyde alumni and is a partnership between the University and Strathclyde Students’ Association.
Dr Veena O’Halloran, Director of Student Experience & Enhancement Services at Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde is an international university, with a student population drawn from more than 100 nations, and this fund will significantly enhance the range of support we are able to offer.
“University can be a life-transforming opportunity and it is critical that students are able to complete their studies, regardless of their financial situation. This fund will help those who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty or exceptional circumstances.”
Gary Paterson, President of the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association, said: “Many students face financial crisis that risks their progress at university, leaving students in poverty and uncertainty, so we are thrilled to be tackling this by launching an international discretionary fund for students.
"One of my big priorities this year was increasing financial support for students, and I was elected with plans to create a crisis fund for international students so I am extremely happy that we are able to make this a reality so we can tackle the student poverty on campus."
“For many, financial crisis means the difference between graduating or not, so we are delighted alumni donations can help on campus.”
James Ferns, Students’ Association Vice President (Education), added: “Improving support for all students is a priority for the Students Union because we have seen too many issues of students falling below the breadline because of a lack of opportunities or short-term crisis.
“Nobody should have to choose between a degree and a meal. We believe more needs to be done beyond our campus but we are thrilled that, working with the alumni donors, we’ll be in a position to support Strathclyde students who would otherwise drop out of their studies.
The fund will target students who do not qualify for the University’s main discretionary fund, owing to their residence status.
The news comes just weeks after the University and Students’ Association announced new scholarship funding to meet the tuition and study-related costs of asylum-seeking students.