Supporting students through difficult times

Ensuring our students can fulfil their academic potential regardless of unexpected financial difficulties

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“Without this help, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to get through this tough time and go on to become a doctor.”

Financial difficulties can be a source of extreme stress for students, particularly when balancing part time work with exams or a heavy work load. It can have a huge impact on their mental health, the quality of work they produce and how they perform academically.

When a student finds themselves in financial trouble, it can be really hard to perform to the best of their abilities, especially if they don’t have a safety net of a well off family to fall back on.

It’s really important to us that there is support available for students who experience unexpected financial difficulties. Here at Manchester we want to make sure that all of our students are able to fulfil their potential. Financial difficulties that have come about through no fault of the student should never get in the way of their future.

Emergency Help

One way we do this is through the Manchester Hardship Fund. The fund, supported by donors to the University, provides emergency support when students run into sudden and unexpected financial troubles. Whether this is because of family difficulties, illness, natural disaster or anything else, the fund exists to ensure students from all backgrounds can complete their studies successfully and worry-free.

Michael, who has just finished the final year of his medical degree, is a mature student at Manchester. His parents are both retired, so Michael had to support himself during his course by working as a care assistant at the hospital. This was just about achievable during the first few years of his degree, but as his workload intensified it became impossible to balance work with his studies. Michael was struggling financially and so he applied to the Manchester Hardship Fund.

“I had less and less time to spare on a job. I put off seeking help for a long time, but I reached the point where no amount of thriftiness would keep me financially afloat. Risking doing work outside of Medicine wasn’t really an option. I just wouldn’t have been able to fit in both work and study in the last few years.”

“The fund basically put me at ease at a time when I had exams looming. The last thing I wanted was to worry about how I would cover my rent this month, or how I would have to eat porridge for three meals a day.”

For Michael, this support meant that he could divert all of his attention to his studies, which in his final year of a Medicine degree, was critically important.

“Without a doubt, I don’t think I would have made it through my medical exams if I hadn’t received support. If it wasn’t for the Manchester Hardship Fund I would have been continually fretting and finding my financial worries too distracting to knuckle down and get on with studying for my finals.”

Michael’s Future

Michael was overjoyed when he passed his exams in January and has been gaining as much clinical experience as possible since. In August he will be starting a new job as a foundation year doctor.

“I know the life of a doctor is not something that is considered easy, but I think it’s a great honour and opportunity to be able to help people, and I’m grateful that this fund helped me get through my degree.”

“Not everyone comes from a well-off background, and there are students that will really struggle financially. Being from a poorer background doesn’t mean I’m any less intelligent or capable than those from more fortunate ones.

This fund provided me with the opportunity to fulfil my potential and I hope that one day I can donate to the hardship fund to continue the great privilege of helping those in need.”

Ongoing need

It’s impossible to predict when or how a student will experience sudden financial difficulty. Many students will run into money problems unexpectedly, and through no fault of their own, while at university.

We need to be ready to support them.

“To anyone thinking of supporting the Manchester Hardship Fund, I would say it’s an honour to be able to do such a significant thing. You might not feel the impact of your donation, but I want you to know that people like me will be eternally indebted. And to everyone who has donated – thank you.”

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