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Access to Learning Fund Slashed

Oct 21 2008 20:34
Kirsty Patterson
The Imperial College Access to Learning Fund has had it's budget for this year nearly halved after a 'change in priorities' cost the fund £100,000.
Even Colleges figures just aren't adding up.

The Access to Learning Fund, which is avaiable to home students who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty, has received a £100,000 cut this year due to changing priorities in the Higher Education Sector. The fund, which is adminstered by HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England), has had a much larger proportion of it's finances targetted towards Part Time students after the Government allegedly enforced a priority change on the Council. With the low percentage of part-time students at Imperial, College has been hit with an unexpected shortfall.

The Student Funding Department usually attempts to cover applications in full but are this year advising students not to expect more than 50% of the amount they apply for to be funded through this channel. Students at other institutions may be experiencing even greater hardship as it is normal practice across the sector to only fund 50% of the initial application to ensure the funds reach the greatest number of people.

Student Funding Officer, Amanda James, reassured Live! that "We don't want to spread mass panic. We manage our money very well." Students who think that they would be elligible for money from the Access to Learning Fund should not be put off from applying. If an application is made for £1000 you may still receive up to £600 with an opportunity to review your situation and top up the money later in the year.

Students should be aware however that monies needed in an emergency could not come through as quickly as they would like. One student seeking to access the fund in the Student Hub today was in search of cash to cover their accommodation fees after College made a 'comptational error' causing their Student Loan to be delayed. Instead of being able to take an emergency loan the student was issued with a letter addressed to the Landlord explaining that the error was the College's and asking for leniency.

Live! got the impression that Student Funding, faced with a potential disaster, were coping remarkably well with thinking outside the box. You can find more information about the Access to Learning Fund and download applications from the Imperial College Website.

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Discussion about “Access to Learning Fund Slashed”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 21 2008 20:44

And for those in engineering departments, you can also apply to the City & Guilds College Association's charitable trust, the OC Trust.

More information here:

I believe the RCSA has something similar if someone from the RCSU would like to pop up and post details.

Oct 22 2008 10:45

Damm Ashley! You've given away my little secret - hardly anyone applies to the OC Trust!

3. Steve   
Apr 24 2009 11:17


I applied for Access to Learning Fund because by now (end of April) I ran out of my savings. I have no idea how I will pay my rent and food from next week. My application was rejected this week, the Finance Office simply says that I should have gone work.

Does anyone know where I could make an appeal against the decision of the university? Which authority/law firm deals with this kind of complaints? Please write me if you have any idea to . Thanks, Steve.

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