Staff, students and alumni from The University of Manchester have raised over £1 million (and rising) for the institution’s Coronavirus Emergency Hardship Fund for students.
The campaign launched in April to support students facing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Students from low-income backgrounds are most likely to be impacted due to the current situation. One in four undergraduates at Manchester come from such a background – one of the highest proportions of students at a Russell Group institution.
The money raised through the appeal will go directly to supporting the students most in need. This will be through initiatives like emergency grants, bursaries, wellbeing projects and access to education.
Since the campaign’s launch more than 2,000 people from around the world – 84 countries to be exact – with an affiliation to the University have so far donated.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “I am proud of the way that our community has responded to support current students. Thanks to donations from around the world, students at The University of Manchester will have access to an increased level of financial support, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”
The institution is working closely with its Students’ Union (UMSU) to ensure that the funds being raised will benefit the students who are most in need of support. Chloe Salins, Education Officer at UMSU, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has left students across the UK feeling worried about their finances. I’m really pleased that The University of Manchester has taken the initiative to create this Emergency Fund.”
As well as staff and alumni, donors have even included current students and parents. Alongside the fundraising campaign, the University has also committed additional university funding to support students facing hardship.
Pete Warden, a donor and Computer Science graduate now living in the USA, added: “I wanted to try and help other people in the way that Manchester helped me. That was why the appeal really resonated with me. I can only imagine how tough it must be for some of the students out there.”
The campaign continues to gather momentum, with the number of donations received from supporters around the world increasing daily. The profound impact of the pandemic on students – with a collapse in part time work, summer internships and the graduate job market – means there is still much to do, and the University is striving to raise as much as possible in support of those students in greatest need.
Professor April McMahon, Vice President for Learning, Teaching and Students, added: “The University of Manchester has a long tradition of philanthropy, and it has been wonderful to see our community coming together in this way. We are very grateful to everyone who has chosen to support our students at this time.”