Cost-of-living: how we’re supporting you
Message from Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor sent via email to all students.
As the cost-of-living and its related pressures continues to increase, your financial and wider wellbeing remains an important priority for me and my colleagues who support you in a range of ways. The University has drawn together a support package to help you navigate this difficult time and this message seeks to present this in a way that allows you to access support based on need.
Since I wrote to you in September outlining our proactive approach, we have extended our commitment to this area and established a closer working relationship between University support services and the Brighton Students’ Union. The outcome of this work includes a Cost-of-Living Support Hub, which is a site that gives you a single point of access to wellbeing, financial and employment support.
The Hub provides you with information and guidance. I also want to take this opportunity to summarise how we are providing vital, practical support to you and your peers at this time.
How are we supporting you?
- Financially in the form of hardship funding, scholarships and bursaries. We’ve allocated more than £3.1 million this academic year to assist students.
- Hardship funding for home and international students, including postgraduates: we’ve reviewed assessment mechanisms, ensuring more students are supported.
- Absorbing energy costs: the University absorbed the energy price increases for students living in our Halls and partner Halls of residence, equating to £600,000. I know for those in private accommodation this issue continues to be challenging. I would encourage you to speak to your landlords about how they’re allocating any energy rebates. You can also reach out to the Brighton Students’ Union who will be working on this area.
- Heated spaces on campus: I know heating costs will be a particular concern to students in private accommodation. We have a range of study and social learning spaces (which can also be used to charge devices) and you can access free hot showers on campus.
- Food: offering value for money items and preventing food waste with afternoon reductions and free end-of-day giveaways. All food hubs have microwaves to heat your own food.
- Trained money advisors who provide one-to-one support and are hosting financial and budget planning workshops.
- Transport: we’re working with transport providers to source further discounts, and the University continues to fund the free inter-site University bus, and free parking on campus, where eligible.
- Additional course-related costs: we’re continuing to review this area and placement costs, and have removed some costs, such as assessment printing.
- Funding course-level enhancement activities through Belong at Brighton Extra, providing additional free opportunities to connect with your peers.
You also have access to personalised support and resources
- Extensive wellbeing support.
- One-to-one financial advice: speak to our Student Advice team if you’re facing financial difficulties.
- Employment: a jobs bulletin and one-to-one support, both of which can be accessed through Careers Connect. We’re employing an increasing number of students in on-campus job roles, such as Student Ambassadors and Wellbeing Champions, as well as roles in our sport and catering facilities.
- Money Matters blog for tips on making your money go further.
- Student discounts for travel and transport.
- Join TOTUM for access to further discounts.
- Skills support: study skills guides and resources that you can access 24/7.
What else are we doing?
The higher education sector is working together to lobby Government for additional support as we aren’t immune to inflationary costs, and we cannot address this national crisis on our own. I lead our efforts on this matter, and I’ve worked with other university leaders to call for government support for students.
I hope these measures offer you some reassurance. I know that financial stress can take a toll on your mental health and if this happens, please contact our wellbeing team as a priority.
Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor