Coronavirus: University launches £3.4m fund to support students living in halls of residence

3 Apr 2020

The University of Winchester is making available funds of £3.4 million to support its students who have returned home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are no longer living in their University accommodation.

Students who have gone back home to their families for the Government lockdown period will pay no rent for their accommodation from 27 March onwards until the end of their housing contract. Students who continue to stay in their University accommodation during this period will receive a 50 per cent discount.

The University is also working with the Winchester Student Union and national bodies to call on private providers to do what they can to support those students who have private accommodation contracts outside the immediate control of the University.

The University has also offered accommodation to the NHS which is still in the process of identifying its needs.

Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "These are unprecedented times and so we have made the important decision to launch this fund in the best interests of our students, to support them during this very challenging time.

"Our students are amazing and I want to thank them and our fantastic staff for their commitment, hard work and agility in the face of the huge shock wave we all face from Covid-19. I, along with the University's senior managers and governors, have been hugely impressed with the way students and staff have rapidly adapted to a new way of learning and working, and all at the same time as dealing with the personal pressures, anxieties and complexities the lockdown has presented for us all.

"We are also continuing to work closely with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to support them in any way we can, including providing accommodation for frontline staff."

The University is operating but currently responding to the Government lockdown, with all teaching moved online and the majority of staff who are able to do so working remotely. Only critical on-site services are open.

Other support for students includes a newly-launched coronavirus helpline, while the Student Services team continues its usual support on a variety of students matters, including academic skills, remotely.

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