In light of a recent interview with University Minister Michelle Donelan aired on GMB last Tuesday 2, the University of Sheffield’s Student Union twitter account, (@sheffieldsu), promotes the COVID-19 funding offered to students facing additional costs or a significant reduction in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid confusion surrounding what the financial support covers, the tweet read; ‘Make sure you apply for some of the £3 million Covid-19 relief fund, set up by the University. We’re encouraging you all to apply for losses caused by Covid-19 e.g costs to travel home, unnecessary rent, bills, technology and loss of part time work. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/funding/student-covid-19-support-fund’
The link connected to the tweet leads directly to the description page for the COVID19 support fund which states what the criteria of what can be supported by the grant. Students can read that the grant will not be given to support them financially in paying; accommodation costs, tuition fees, expected living costs (food, travel to and from University), cash awards towards newly purchased (bought since 1 December 2020) laptops/desktops/tablets, payment of fines for breaching Covid-19 rules or other laws.
University Minister Michelle Donelan stated in the heated interview with Piers Morgan and Susunna Reid that; “Our priority is getting that money into students pockets who need it the most.”
When contacted for a response for the student union stated they were unable to respond at this time.
Students are currently facing fees for houses they aren’t legally allowed to live in due to national restrictions banning travel. The Student Union claim they are currently campaigning for a rent rebate for students living in privately rented accommodation. But clearly states that students cannot apply for a rent rebate from the Covid19 Support funds.