UK (University of Sussex) University of Sussex announces £6.6 million cost of living support for students and staff

The University of Sussex has today (Friday 4 November) announced a further package of support for its students and staff to help them manage rising living costs this winter.

The package, combined with similar support provided in the summer, now totals around £6.6 million.

The new offer includes both a major boost to the student hardship fund and a contribution from the Sussex Fund (an alumni and staff supported fund). Around 3,000 students who receive a Sussex Bursary – based on low household income – will now also receive additional financial support to help them manage increased costs this winter.

Most employees of the university and related employers received a boost to their pay in July this year, and the university has now announced that new staggered payments will be made through the winter months weighted to those on the lowest salaries and who are most affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

Professor Sasha Roseneil, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, said:

“This winter is set to be hugely challenging for many people, including those within our own University of Sussex community.

“Recognising this, we have put together a comprehensive and progressive package of financial and practical support for our students and staff. Building on payments made to staff in the summer, we are making additional payments over the winter months that target support at those who are most in need, and we are more than doubling our student hardship fund, as well as making cash payments to all of our Sussex Bursary students.”

The University of Sussex also became a Real Living Wage employer this year. The Real Living Wage is independently-calculated and voluntarily paid by the university to ensure staff are able to meet everyday needs. This benefits our lowest wage staff, including the 275 ‘Student Connectors’ who work in partnership with the University to help improve the experience for all students.

In addition, various other support measures are available including freezing parking costs on campus to pre-pandemic levels, discounts on public transport and subsidised low-cost food options on campus. Staff can also access counselling and advice at difficult times through an Employee Assistance Programme.

Further student support is also available via the university’s new Student Centre on campus, as well as via its Money and funding advice, University Hardship funds and welfare loans and a free financial education platform.