The government has revealed a further £50 million to help students who are struggling financially during the Covid pandemic, in addition to £20 million announced in December.
This extra funding will flow through universities and will include funds to help students pay their private accommodation rent and Covid-related costs including accessing teaching online.
This announcement follows the decision by many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need stay away from their term-time address.
The Universities Minister Michelle Donelan (pictured, above) is also encouraging private landlords to join them and offer students partial refunds.
“This additional support will provide real, tangible help for those students struggling financially as a result of the pandemic,” she says.
“We will continue to prioritise a full return to education as soon possible, in line with public health advice.”
The government is also asking all providers of student accommodation including universities to ensure their rental policies have students’ best interests at heart and are communicated clearly.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, (pictured) says: “Whilst we welcome the news of further financial support, it begs the question why student renters are being treated differently to all others.
“Given students are continuing to receive maintenance loans alongside this new funding, Ministers need to explain why the same support is not being provided to other renters struggling as a result of the pandemic.
The NRLA’s figures suggest that seven per cent of private renters have built arrears due to coronavirus, while the government has admitted that private renters have been hardest hit by the pandemic.