Edinburgh University Students’ Association has introduced a participation fund for financially disadvantaged students.
From Monday, October 10, students will be able to apply for a grant of up to £100 to offset the costs of society membership, sports equipment and travel costs.
The scheme, initiated by Students’ Association President Alec Edgecliffe-Johnson, aims to widen the ability of poorer students to join extra-curricular activities.
Speaking to The Student, Edgecliffe-Johnson, who has been Student Association President for four months, stated: “This comes in reaction to research which the Students’ Association has been doing over the past few years into some of the barriers that are facing Widening Participation students in getting involved in university.
“One of these barriers in financial […] We have been working with the university in looking at the issue, and we realized that The Students’ Association should be doing something about it,” Edgecliffe-Johnson said.
With a starting fund of £10,000, the scheme has the potential to help hundreds of students in a variety of ways, from “kit, hoodies and tournament costs”, to covering society membership fees. It is hoped that this fund will increase by another £5,000 by next year, dependent on student demand.
Emphasising the importance of the scheme, Edgecliffe-Johnson said: “Societies, sports, and volunteering are the crux of your student experience. No student should have to feel that for financial reasons they cannot participate in these kinds of mechanisms.”
Edgecliffe-Johnson also said that The Students’ Association is working hard to try and aid many other financial costs which may put off low-income students from taking part in the university experience.