University of Warwick to spend millions of pounds on cost-of-living support for students and staff
The University of Warwick has announced a £3.5m cost of living support package which will deliver help for thousands of students from the lowest income families, one-off payments to staff and an open invite for the local community to make use of facilities on campus this winter.
The new funding will take the overall financial support available to Warwick students through grants, scholarships, and funds to more than £45m a year for 2022/23.
The additional funds will be paid through the existing bursary schemes which are targeted at those on the lower incomes – meaning students will receive the money automatically without having to apply for it.
One in ten students (3,200) currently receive a bursary from the University, with annual allowances tiered depending on household incomes, up to a maximum of £35,000. They will all benefit from an 10% increase in payments, which will paid from December.*
Undergraduate home students from households with an income of less than £16,000 can expect their payment for 2022/23 to rise to £2,200 as a result of the new funding.
Warwick has also increased support for post graduate research students receiving the ‘minimum stipend’ with a 10% rise in their allowance, reflecting the increased rate of inflation. This was in addition to a 3% increase which had already been approved.**
Colleagues and community
The University is already a national living wage employer but will offer extra help to its staff on lower salary bands. Around 3,911 staff members will receive a cost-of-living payment of up to £550 in January.***
Staff struggling with unexpected costs or changes in personal circumstances will also be able to apply for an interest free loan, and access to a free online personal finance platform - providing tips, budgeting tools and expert advice to help people get on top of their finances.
Warwick’s world-class centre Arts Centre has meanwhile issued an open invite to local residents to make use of the building to stay warm during the day, offering a friendly space for people to come and enjoy – with a programme of activities planned for later this year.
Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President of Warwick University, said: “We know that many people are struggling with their finances right now as household budgets are being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis.
“That includes members of our own community - and we want to do what we can to help those most in need this winter.
“That’s why we’re spending an additional £3.5m to support our community, including extra help for over 3,000 students from lower income families to help ease the burden of rising bills. That money will be paid automatically into their accounts as part of our existing bursary schemes.
“We know it’s a difficult time for colleagues on lower salary bands and we will make a one-off payment of £550 to offer them additional support over the winter months.
“And we are issuing an open invite for local residents to use our Arts Centre, which will offer a friendly space for people to meet and stay warm during the day.
“We believe offering this package of practical support to those who need it most is the right approach to take and reflects the feedback from our community.
“Today isn’t a full stop in terms of the support on offer. We will continue to work closely with our students and staff to understand what additional help may be needed over the coming months.”
Warwick will run a series of ‘listening panels’ with students to help identify areas where the university can offer further support and assistance – recognising that different students will have different needs over the winter when it comes to the cost-of-living crisis.
Will Brewer, President of Students’ Union, said: “We recognise the current cost of living crisis is having a major impact on many of our students, and particular groups have been hit exceptionally hard.
“We welcome this response from the University, and look forward to continue working with the University Cost-of-Living Working Group to ensure that no students are left behind.”
Notes to editors
*Undergraduate home students are eligible for the Warwick Bursary if they are assessed by Student Finance England to have a household income below £35,000. Warwick USB 2016-2022 Entry - Student Funding - University of Warwick
** The 10% increase matches the UKRI stipend rate rise and reflects the additional increase in inflation.
*** The £550 payment will be made to salaried employees on permanent and fixed term contracts in posts at Levels 1a to 5, who were employed by the University on or before 31st October
University of Warwick press office contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 2476 151 512
19 Oct 2022