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Hardship Fund - The International Students' Emergency Fund - Pre-Triage

The International Students' Emergency Fund (ISEF) is a fund of last resort for International and European Union (EU) students. Further information about this fund can be found below.

  • If you are a Home student, please click through the relevant pages to find information on the Warwick Hardship Fund specific to you.

What is the International Students' Emergency Fund (ISEF)?

ISEF is intended to provide discretionary financial help to International and EU students in situations of unexpected short-term emergency, which causes them difficulty in meeting their essential living costs (e.g., food).

  • The funds available are limited and cannot be used to help with tuition fee costs or to provide any high value, ongoing support.
  • Awards from ISEF are needs-related and are non-repayable.

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Am I eligible?

Registered full and part-time International and EU students pursuing a course of study leading to a formal qualification (e.g., Undergraduate degree, Master’s or PhD) can submit an Expression of Interest form in applying.

As ISEF is a fund of last resort, students will need to show genuine financial hardship and that they have made every effort to meet their needs from any other available sources.

PhD students must have first completed an application to the Doctoral College’s PGR Hardship Fund before they would be considered for any funding from ISEF.

  • If a PhD student is still in financial difficulty following the outcome of their PGR Hardship Fund application, they can then submit an Expression of Interest in applying to ISEF.
  • PhD students will need to submit evidence of their PGR Hardship Fund outcome after submitting their Expression of Interest form via email ( ).
  • PhD students whose registration status is 'Limbo: Thesis' are not eligible for ISEF.

Expression of Interest forms and ISEF applications cannot be considered from students who have completed, permanently withdrawn from or abandoned their course. Further to this, certain enrolment and course exclusions apply, such as students who are awaiting exam board or students who are undertaking a degree apprenticeship. If you would like clarification on whether your particular enrolment status or course excludes you from applying, please contact the student funding team at

Eligible students can express an interest in applying to the WHF during the summer break, if they find themselves in financial difficulty. Further information can be found in our ISEF and ISCF Guidance Notes 2022-23.

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How does the ISEF process work?

Below you will find a flowchart which outlines the basic process of ISEF. This process is the same as the Warwick Hardship Fund (WHF) for Home students.

WHF/ISEF Flowchart

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How do I register my interest in applying to ISEF?

If you would like to apply to ISEF then you will first need to complete and submit an Expression of Interest form. You will need to be logged in to your University account to complete this form.

Once your submission has been processed, if you are eligible to attend triage, you will receive an email with a link to book your triage appointment.

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What happens during my triage appointment?

Triage appointments last approximately 10-15 minutes and take place over Microsoft Teams. However, if you would prefer to attend a face-to-face appointment then please let us know via email ( ) and we will try to accommodate your request.

During the appointment your Student Funding Adviser will ask you questions regarding:

  • How you are funding your course and living costs.
  • The value of your current available funds (e.g., across any overdraft facilities, bank, savings, trading and cryptocurrency accounts that you may have).
    • If you live with a partner, the Student Funding Adviser will also ask you about your partner’s available funds (e.g., across any overdraft facilities, bank, savings, trading and cryptocurrency accounts that they may have).
  • The value of your upcoming essential expenditure.
  • If there are any circumstances impacting your current financial situation.

You will not need to provide any evidence for your triage appointment.

Your triage appointment is used to determine whether it is appropriate for you to make an ISEF application. If you are invited to apply, you will be advised on how to submit an ISEF application and what evidence you will be required to submit with this.

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What happens if I am invited to apply to ISEF?

If you are invited to apply to ISEF, you must submit your application within 4 weeks of receiving your invite. Any submissions made after this 4-week deadline will be rejected and you will need to re-attend a triage meeting. If you are a final year student, then your date of application submission must not be within 5 weeks of your course end date.

Once we have received your application form and supporting documentation, we will contact you to arrange a short, confidential appointment with a Student Funding Adviser.

  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Appointments are informal and will give you the opportunity to discuss your individual needs and circumstances in detail.
  • Appointments are conducted via Microsoft Teams.
  • Once your appointment has been booked, you will receive a confirmation email with full details of your appointment.

Please be assured that your Student Funding Adviser will consider your best interests at all stages of the application and assessment process. However, you should be aware that all of our Student Funding Advisers work within guidance issued by the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) for the assessment of awards and distribution of funds.

It may be necessary during your appointment to refer to your bank statements, credit history and spending patterns (and if applicable, it may be necessary to refer to your partners bank statements and evidence). The discussion may also explore opportunities for part-time working and other funding opportunities that may be available to you. Any questions are not intended to be intrusive, but instead allow your Student Funding Adviser to form a complete and comprehensive assessment of your financial situation and, if possible, to recommend a successful outcome to your application.

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What happens after my ISEF appointment?

After your appointment, your Student Funding Adviser will create a report based on your appointment and assessment. This is then submitted to the Student Funding Manager for review and approval. The Student Funding Manager will also consider your best interests and works within NASMA guidelines for the assessment of awards and distribution of funds.

Providing we have received all your required documentation prior to your appointment, you will be notified of the outcome of your application via email within 10 working days.

  • If your application has been successful, any award will be paid within a further 10 working days from receipt of your outcome email (providing you follow the instructions in the outcome email to submit your bank details promptly).
  • Please note, we can only make payment into UK bank accounts or some digital accounts.
  • We cannot make payments in cash.

Your outcome email will outline how your award will be paid. This may be paid as:

  • A one-off instalment directly into your bank account.
  • Multiple instalments directly into your bank account.
  • Credit to your University account for outstanding Emergency Loan(s).
  • Credit to your University account for Accommodation arrears.

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What help can I expect to receive?

Awards from ISEF are needs-related and assessed on an individual case by case basis. As a result, we are unable to give a clear indication of the likely value of any possible award until an application has been submitted and the assessment process completed.

  • There is no guarantee that funds will be awarded in every case and consequently, some applications will be unsuccessful.
  • Students who are eligible for an award from ISEF will not need to repay this.
  • Priority for funding is given to students with dependants, estranged students, care-experienced students, and students with disabilities.

If your enrolment status changes during the application and assessment process then you may become ineligible to receive support from ISEF (e.g., students who become permanently withdrawn).

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How long does the application and assessment process take?

It can take up to 5 weeks from a fully completed application to receipt of funds, if you are found to be eligible (this time scale does not include from submission of your Expression of Interest, only from submission of a fully completed ISEF application).

If you are in need of more urgent financial assistance, we may be able to offer you an interest free Emergency Loan of up to £250.

Please see below further ways in which the wider University may be able to assist you, if you are in financial difficulty:

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Can I re-apply to ISEF?

Due to the nature of the fund, it is unlikely that a student will need to re-apply during the same academic year.

However, if you do find yourself in immediate financial difficulty later in the year, you can submit a new Expression of Interest. The process of re-application is the same as applying in the first instance and hence you will need to undertake all stages of this as outlined in this ISEF Pre-Triage webpage.

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Who should I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions related to ISEF or Student Funding in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Funding team on , or by telephone on 024 7615 0096. You can also view our ISEF and ISCF Guidance Notes 2022-23 for further information.

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Useful Links/Forms:

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