A new bursary scheme to support students from lower income backgrounds has been announced by Queen’s University Belfast. The scheme, worth over half million pounds, will support students in Northern Ireland from low-income families to help with accommodation costs.
Vice-President of Students and Corporate Services at Queen’s, Caroline Young says: “There are many reasons why students opt for Queen’s accommodation including affordability, quality, a safe and supported living environment, 24/7 support, a Residential Life programme of social events and facilities including free coffee bars, cinema rooms, BBQ areas and more on offer. And we want to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to access these amenities, irrespective of background.
“As A-level students begin their exams, we hope that this news will go some way in reducing any anxieties or uncertainties around securing suitable accommodation for those planning to attend Queen’s in September.”
The bursary scheme will support approximately 450 students in the next academic year, reducing their costs by up to 37%. Any student from a lower income family (under £25k per annum), who is eligible for Student Loans Company (SLC) funding will automatically receive the bursary support if allocated Queen’s accommodation.
President of Queen's Students' Union, Emma Murphy says: “This is a welcome initiative for our student community, particularly during the cost-of-living crisis. This bursary scheme will help to ensure equal access to accommodation for all, especially given the challenges currently faced by students in accessing affordable accommodation.”
The bursary is part of a wider University programme of assistance including the Student Support Fund and the University Financial Assistance Fund, which both offer support to students facing financial difficulties whilst studying.
Caroline added: “We currently have over 3,500 places in our student accommodation as well as 700 with partner providers, offering affordable, purpose-built student accommodation in the city. Our accommodation provides excellent value for money and as a result, we’ve seen a significant increase in demand. We are continuing to invest in Queen’s accommodation in order to meet increasing demand and as part of our plan, we want to make sure that we are providing equal access for all students.”