IHE and NUS write to Minister urging review of student hardship funding

IHE and NUS write to Minister urging review of student hardship funding

1 April 2021

Last month 35 providers, representing over 30,000 students across England added their support to a letter co-signed by Independent Higher Education CEO Alex Proudfoot and the National Union of Students President Hillary Gyebi-Ababio to Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities.

The letter asks the Minister to ask officials to review the existing funding mechanisms for student hardship funding. The letter urges a reconsideration of using established mechanisms for emergency funding to students based on the registration arrangements of their provider.

Michelle Donelan MP
Minister of State for Universities
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
20 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT

19 March 2021

Dear Minister,

Student Hardship Funding – OfS Approved Providers

We are writing to you as student representatives and institutional leaders of 35 OfS Approved Providers. Collectively, we represent more than 30,000 students across England. Our students come from all over the UK and the world to access our specialised and world-class provision, and we are proud to offer them a world-leading experience.

We are dedicated to providing our students with a unique and personalised experience of higher education. However, the pandemic has affected our institutions and our students as much as any other. Our students have also lost earnings or faced long term furlough, and suffered the same financial difficulties that students across the UK have faced.

We were extremely disappointed that DfE was unable to release any of the hardship funding allocated this financial year to institutions in our registration category. While we understand the complexities of distributing public funds, we firmly believe that the Department should not disadvantage students based on the registration arrangements of their provider.

We are aware that, in your most recent meeting with representatives of NUS, you committed to looking again at the Department’s mechanisms for distributing emergency funding, and in particular funding which should go straight to students. We would like to see a timetable for change in place before a review is held of the need for further hardship funding from April.

We would be more than happy to meet to discuss this.

Your sincerely,

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio                                                               Alex Proudfoot
Vice President (Higher Education)                                       Chief Executive
National Union of Students                                                    Independent Higher Education


Signed by:

Professor James Tooley, Vice Chancellor, and Kristoffer Sheard, Students’ Union President, The University of Buckingham

Dr Mark Morris, Head of Teaching, Architectural Association School of Architecture

Kieran Sheehan, Principal, The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

Andy Dipper, Principal & Chief Executive, All Nations Christian College

Chris Hocking, Principal, Arts Educational Schools

Professor Tim Stewart, Vice Chancellor and CEO, BPP University

Revd Stephen Finamore, Principal, Bristol Baptist College

Brendan Webb, Chief Executive Officer, Cambridge Education Group

Kevin Hart, Provost, Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts

Dr Akhazemea, Principal, Christ the Redeemer College

Tamiko O’Brien, Principal, City & Guilds of London Art School

Pat Hamilton, Principal, The College of Osteopaths

Dr John Sanders, Director of Higher Education, David Game College

Oli Selwood, Director, Regulatory Compliance, INTO University Partnerships

Will Gibbs, Managing Director, KLC School of Design

Emil Minev, Culinary Arts Director, Le Cordon Bleu

Mike Scott, Principal, The London College

Nic Espinosa, Director, London Studio Centre

Fiona Paul, Director & Head of Training, Matrix College of Counselling & Psychotherapy

Lissie Wright, Director, The Minster Centre

Stephen Jameson, Principal & Artistic Director, and Sarah Preece, Executive Director, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Dr John Baildam, Principal, Newbold College

Dr Janet Rose, Principal, Norland College

Richard Blackwell, Principal, Northern College of Acupuncture

Grant Farrant, Director of Operations and Finance, Oak Hill College

Zufiqar Choudry, Executive Principal, Raindance Film School

Andrew Cave, Operations Director, Regents Theological College

Professor Geoff Smith, Vice Chancellor and CEO, Regent’s University London

Professor Phil Deans, President and Vice Chancellor, Richmond, The American International University in London

Luke Rittner CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance

Dr Tracey Warr, Head of Research, Schumacher College

Alison Fookes, Director of Finance, Marketing and Recruitment, The Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute

Brian Rock, Director of Education & Training, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Revd Dr Sean Doherty, Principal, Trinity College Bristol

Dr Nick Mapletoft, Principal & Chief Executive Officer, University Centre Quayside

  • On 31st March 2021