The coalition government is currently considering cutting the student opportunities fund in a move that would affect students across the UK who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The University of Southampton has prided itself on providing financial assistance to those who need it. On the application for the student opportunities fund they declare that they:
“…believe that financial circumstances should never prevent talented students from benefiting from a pioneering and world-class education at the University of Southampton.”
SUSU are currently campaigning to keep the fund, stating that “last year the University of Southampton received £1.4 million from the government. If the proposed cuts are made, the university will lose £840,000. This means it will only have £560,000 left to support students.”
They have also started to take action to try and combat this proposed cut. They have urged students and those who believe it shouldn’t be cut to:
1. Print this poster, and tweet a photo of you holding it at Nick Clegg (@NickClegg); then
2. Tweet using the tag #SaveStudentOpportunities
3. Use the tag #hellosusu to spread the word to other Southampton students.
4. Tell your local MP what is going on! You can find your local MP by typing in your postcode at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/. From there, click on Send a Message on the left-hand side. And copy and paste this letter (click here) or write your own.
David Gilani, Union President, provided the Wessex Scene with a statement:
“The proposed cuts to the student opportunity fund would mean Southampton losing up to £800,000 in funding – funding dedicated to ensuring that students from the poorest backgrounds can get to University. This is in no way acceptable!”
This follows an earlier cut of £100m to the national scholarship programme, another programme designed to improve social mobility in higher education. Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat minister who oversees departmental spending, is said to be in favour of doing away with the entire fund.