University announces new financial support package

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The University of Oxford has announced a programme of new measures of financial support for students from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds. Students from low-income households, care-leavers and estranged students will all see increased in funding available to them during their time in Oxford. The new funding will become available to students starting their studies in the 2020/21 academic year.

In an announcement on their website, the University has said that “more students than ever before” will benefit from the Moritz-Heyman scholarship for low-income students. The household-income threshold for eligibility for the scholarship will increase by £11,500, from the current £16,000 to £27,500. In addition, the annual living-costs bursary provided by the scholarship will increase from the current £3,700 to between £4,200 and £5,000 from 2020.

In the same announcement, the University promised “more support” for recipients of the standard Oxford Bursary, although the household-income threshold for receiving it remains unchanged at £42,875. Currently, around a quarter of Oxford students benefit from the Oxford Bursary.

Generous financial support for care-leavers and estranged students will also come into effect. The same threshold of £27,500 will apply as the cut-off for automatic support for all of the care-leaver, estranged students, and Moritz-Heyman programmes. For Student Loan Company-registered estranged students and those who have spent at least three months in care, a package of up to £7,200 per year will be made available. In addition, any estranged students eligible for the Oxford Bursary but with household incomes above £27,500, as well as those not registered as estranged with the Student Loan Company, will be able to apply for an annual grant of £3,000 on an “as-needs basis”.

In a statement on Monday 18 February, Oxford SU welcomed the new measures as a “robust structure to help students thrive at Oxford”. Having been consulted in the process of designing the new programmes, the Student Union said that they “will continue to work with the University” on improving access.