Support for Students Facing Financial Hardship

This year, your President, Maia Jarvis, has been working with the College on a complete review of their Extenuating Circumstances policy (ECs). In a effort to tackle the affects of the cost of living crisis on students, Maia has successfully lobbied the College to include 'financial hardship' as a reason to grant extenuating circumstances.

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This year, I’ve been thinking about the ways I can use my voice as a sabbatical officer to support you during the cost of living crisis. In my manifesto, I promised you I would ensure the extenuating circumstances policy (ECs) fully supports students, and this year, I’ve been speaking up for your interests - working with the College on a complete review of ECs.

In case you aren’t aware, you can apply for ECs if unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control prevent you from doing an assessment; your extenuating circumstances can then offer you a variety of outcomes to help you continue your studies and succeed.

At the start of the year, I contacted the Senior Vice-Principal to ask whether ‘financial hardship’ could be included as a reason for ECs; this would mean that students who are in unexpected financial difficulty can apply for extenuating circumstances. This is something that other universities had in their reasons for ECs, but it wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the RHUL policy. I am very pleased to announce that the College agreed to implement my suggestion, meaning that students facing a ‘significant, sudden and unexpected change in financial circumstances’ are eligible to apply for ECs! I’m so happy to have pushed this change through as it’s a piece of policy that will have a tangible effect on student experience from this point onwards.

In 2023, I will be organising a focus group with students to get your feedback on proposed changes to the EC policy.

If you are currently struggling with finances, please visit our Advice Centre page on Financial Wellbeing.