Re-Do, Reimburse, Write Off
Student Safety Net is a national campaign lead by the National Union of Students (NUS). Alongisde students and Students' Union's accross the country, UCB Guild supports this campaign to provide our students the safety net that they need. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an economic crash. Students are now in a financial storm, their living situations and education severely disrupted, and are deeply concerned for their family members.
The campaign asks for the following:
All students currently in education, and continuing, should have access to a national hardship fund, including international students.
Coronavirus has hit thousands of students in the pocket. We have long known that student maintenance support is inadequate, and the government has failed to address the various cost of living crises for students in everything from housing to transport to course costs. Students have long been expected to rely on income from employment, family support and commercial debt to pay their way through education. For many, Coronavirus has meant that the first two of these income streams are in jeopardy and no student should be forced to rely on exploitative debt in order to get by. We urgently need a package of financial support to stop students and apprentices falling into poverty and out of education.
Education leavers should be supported by a grant to ensure they can take up additional training and develop their skills when trying to find work.
For those leaving education this year, the world also looks bleak. The economic fallout will be immense and employment prospects are poor. Young people leaving education during a recession are more likely to be unemployed or in lower paid jobs, and this is likely to continue with more than a quarter of businesses reducing the number of graduates they employ this year. Studies have shown that the impact of recessions on graduate employment can last for two decades.
Students should have the opportunity to retake their year with full maintenance support at no additional cost.
Students who do not wish to retake the year, the government must commit to writing off this year of their debt, reimbursing this year of their fees.
How can I help?
Post on Social Media using the hastag #StudentSafetyNet and one of the Student Safety Net graphics. You could share your story, or why you think the campaign is important.
The government have launched a scheme for members of the public to ask a question at the daily coronavirus press conference.
This is a great opportunity to get as many people as possible to submit questions related to our Student Safety Net campaign and ensure that students are not being left to fall through the cracks.
Here are some example questions you could ask:
- Will the government introduce a hardship fund for full-time students who have been financially affected by COVID-19 but are not eligible for Universal Credit?
- What support will you offer to education leavers this year who will be entering the labour market during a recession, and will you consider providing a grant for further training and skills development to increase employability?
- Students have faced great disruption due to COVID-19 with most not receiving the teaching they expected. Will you provide adequate funding to institutions to allow students to redo the year at no extra cost, have this year’s debt written off or receive reimbursements for their course or tuition fees?
3. Take the #SpaceToStudyChallenge
Maybe you’re battling with rural broadband or you’re in a different timezone to the rest of your course mates. Maybe you’re in a house full of people – or trying to balance home schooling while you’re studying yourself. Maybe you’re locked out of your college facilities or studio. Maybe you’re a healthcare student whose study space is suddenly an NHS ward.
Whatever your situation, we want to hear about it – we’re going to kick this off on Friday 1 May at midday (where ever you are in the world!)
- Share a picture or video of your current 'workspace' on social media.
- Tell us why your situation makes it difficult to continue your studies at the moment
- Tag your university or college
- Tag five mates to do the same thing
Contact your local MP, tell them your story and why a #StudentSafetyNet is so important!