More than £1 million raised to help students in need

The University gives thanks to 3,000 supporters who donated to the Emergency Hardship Appeal.

The appeal

The University of Manchester launched the Emergency Hardship Appeal at the end of April 2020 to support students facing real financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The appeal was driven by a commitment to ensuring no student was left struggling and could continue their education, fulfilling their extraordinary potential regardless of external circumstances.

The impact

Six months after the appeal launched, donations have totalled more than £1 million thanks to contributions from 3,000 supporters in 80 countries across the world. The donations have been used to fund a variety of projects, including:

  • the purchase of 150 laptops to loan to students who do not have adequate IT provision;
  • an extension of the emergency financial support from our existing Living Cost Support Fund;
  • a new counsellor to work in our halls of residence to support students experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of the pandemic;
  • assessments of students with learning disabilities to help them access additional support where required.

Around 200 donations came from our staff and we also received gifts from alumni, parents of students and friends of the University.

Professor April McMahon, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students and Chair of the Disbursement Group, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for so many people and yet our supporters have found it in themselves to be so generous. It has made such an impact on our students who need support. I have been truly moved and am really proud of what we have achieved in our University’s community.”

Widening participation initiatives

The Emergency Hardship Appeal support has added to our strong record for widening participation, helping talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds to progress to Manchester and achieve their potential. This year we expect to exceed the target we have set with the Office for Students (based on internal data logged prior to registration).

For this academic year we have a greater number of students starting university having completed one of our access initiatives. We expect to have 235 Manchester Access Programme students, compared with 147 last year; 189 Manchester Distance Access Scheme students, compared with 128 last year; and 55 students starting courses in the School of Social Sciences after completing the pre-university courses and Pathways to Law.