UCU describes student hardship payment as a “sticking plaster”

The UCU has described as a “sticking plaster” today’s government announcement of a £50m hardship payment to support students during the pandemic.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This government has repeatedly failed to prioritise education and has left staff, students and universities in limbo. Whilst we are glad the government has finally recognised the mess their dithering and u-turns have created, it should not have taken students queueing for food banks, or waves of rent strikes, for the government to start acknowledging the scale of the problem.

“Small-scale funding packages like this are simply a sticking plaster and not the answer to the widespread problems facing the sector. The government needs to go further and provide proper funding to avoid irreparable long-term damage to the sector’s reputation. The government must also admit that mass movement of students back to their term-time accommodation is unsafe and pledge to keep all but essential university teaching online until the end of the current academic term.”

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