A student is campaigning for a £500 university bursary to be reinstated.
Callum Barre, a first year media student at the University of Lincoln, created a Facebook group to petition for the cause. At the time of writing, the group had over 1,400 members, but only a fraction of that number had signed the attached petition.
The money was paid to all students who finished the academic year, but was stopped for this year’s intake. Those who started their studies in 2007 will be the last group of students to receive it.
Chris Spendlove, the university’s registrar, says that the university reviews its bursaries and scholarships each year, and decided to withdraw it for students entering in 2008 and afterwards.
Mr Spendlove pointed out that it was not mentioned in that year’s prospectus, or any other university documents.
Kayleigh Turner, the Student Union’s vice-president for education, says “there is little to be done to change this”.
“I was informed by a member of the Student Revenue team that this money was always intended to be phased out… and the University simply cannot afford it, particularly in the current times.”
The group’s description asks “why was there not a fight to keep it, was it done behind SU backs, were the SU too lazy or was it just a matter of self interest as this would not affect the students currently at the university?”
Some students who left comments say they feel let down by the university and the Students’ Union. A few signatories of the petition say that part of the reason they came to Lincoln was because of the financial help they thought they would receive.
Mr Barre said that the group had “just escalated”, but added “the timing is detrimental as most people are going home… the worse thing is that it’s come to now. It’s right at the end of the year.”
He says he brought up the issue at a student reps meeting. Mike Mason, the acting head of media production, confirmed the rumours by email.
Mr Barre says his first concern was distributing the information. He says: “For some it’s just extra money but for others it’s going to get them through the summer.”
“Politically for the university if they had [explained] then there would not have been such a thing [about it].
“There’s a case for each side. The money eventually gets to the students. The problem isn’t the money; the problem is [that] we weren’t really told about it.
“It’s the end of year, it’s late in the game and no-one’s caught on.”
It is thought that, with roughly 3,000 students in each year, the move will save the university a maximum of £1.5m a year. Mr Barre says that it would be “interesting to see where they have scheduled that money to go.”
If you would like to join the group or sign the petition, more information is available here.Tweet