University launches cost of living hub to support students and staff
The University of Sheffield has launched a new cost of living hub for students and staff to highlight the range of support available in response to the rising costs of living.
The new hub provides information and guidance for students and staff, ranging from financial help to cost-saving deals on campus.
As part of this package, the University has added extra funds to its Financial Support Fund. The £3 million fund is available for students who are facing financial difficulties due to the cost of living and other reasons. The fund offers financial help with unforeseen costs – such as living costs, employability-related costs like new interview clothes, IT equipment, energy costs and house hunting costs for students with dependents, as well as emergency help such as food vouchers.
The University has also taken proactive steps to:
- increase funding for postgraduate students by 10 per cent
- provide an additional grant of £150 to help students participate in extracurricular activities
- increase bursaries for students from less privileged backgrounds by 10 per cent.
The new hub also signposts to the range of support offered by the University’s Students’ Union.
For staff, the University has recently announced an additional payment of £1,000 to all employees – equating to an investment of £8.4 million. Casual workers and graduate teaching assistants will be provided with an equivalent increase in their hourly rate of pay for any work undertaken between October 2022 and July 2023.
This payment for staff is in addition to other pay increases delivered earlier this year. In August, the University agreed changes to its pay-grade boundaries with its trade union colleagues. As a result of these changes, the University invested an extra £6.3 million per year into staff salaries – resulting in pay increases of up to 6.5 per cent for more than 5,000 members of staff. In addition to this, the annual national pay award, which applies to all staff, included pay increases of at least 3 per cent, with increases of up to 9 per cent for staff on lower salaries.
Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Increases in the cost of living are affecting communities across the UK. The steps we have taken for our students and staff are aimed at helping as quickly as possible, with a range of targeted support.
“For our staff, we have boosted salaries for all, but we have ensured that people on the lowest pay grades have received the largest increases. We know that the pressures that staff face are varied, so we are responding in a number of different ways – including by looking at on-campus costs.
“For students, we are very aware of how financial issues can affect their time at university. We hope that students who are struggling will contact the University as soon as possible and access the additional support available”.
In addition to the package for students and staff, the University of Sheffield will work with local partners to support initiatives for wider South Yorkshire communities.
For further information please contact: