Student Administration

Student Opportunity Fund

Information on the University's Opportunity Fund, which the University has established to support those students most impacted by the 2018 UCU industrial action.

What is the Student Opportunity Fund?

Earlier in 2018 there was a 4-week period of industrial action at the University.

Principal Peter Mathieson has committed to investing the money not spent on salaries (as a result of strike action) on the student experience, and in particular on students affected by the industrial action.  We have already decided, working with the Students’ Association, to increase investment in student experience funds for both UK and international students

We are also establishing a Student Opportunity Fund to support those students most impacted by the industrial action. We are investing £1.1 million in this fund which will make grants to students impacted by the industrial action who wish to pursue further learning opportunities.

Who will the Fund support?

The Fund will support students who were most impacted by the industrial action. We define this as undergraduate or postgraduate taught students who, as a result of the industrial action, lost 10% or more of their teaching time in semester two, 2017/18. This means that we estimate that around 5000 students may be eligible to apply and benefit from this fund.

How will the Fund operate?

The maximum grant you can apply for from the Fund will be £250.

If you are one of the most impacted students you can apply to the Fund even if you have graduated from the University by the time you make your application.

The Fund will open on 21 June 2018 and will remain open until all the money has been spent or 30 June 2019, whichever is sooner.

Payments will be made on a first come, first served basis; it is therefore possible that the Fund will be exhausted before all applicants have decided to apply. We will provide quarterly updates on the amount remaining in the Fund on this page.

In the event that the Fund closes on 30 June 2019 with unspent funds remaining at that time, these will be transferred into student experience funds for the benefit of the wider student community.

What kind of learning opportunities can I receive funding for?

The Fund can be used to pay for learning opportunities of most kinds, including conferences, workshops, short courses, online courses, research/archive visits, and part-payment of longer or more expensive learning opportunities. The learning opportunity can be related to your degree studies, or in another area of interest. However, the Fund cannot be used to pay for degree programmes at the University of Edinburgh.

The University may check any information you provide.

You can include the cost of travel and accommodation associated with your learning opportunity, as long as the total claim does not exceed £250. However, claims that are purely for accommodation and travel will not be accepted. Additionally, the Fund cannot be used to pay subsistence costs, e.g. rent, bills, food etc.

You can claim for a learning opportunity already taken, provided it took place during this academic year (i.e. between 18 September 2017 and 21 June 2018). In these cases we would require details and evidence of your payment and attendance at the learning opportunity. You can also apply for assistance with future learning opportunities that begin no later than 31 July 2019. You do not need to have paid for the learning opportunity in advance in order to make a claim.

How do I apply to the Fund?

You will need to submit a short application providing personal details, details of how your teaching time was affected, and details of the learning opportunity that you wish to pursue.

Apply to the Student Opportunity Fund

There is a maximum of one application and one payment per applicant, even if the application is for less than £250 in total.

In order to ensure that funding is directed to the most impacted students, applications will be considered against data that the University holds on the impact of the strike action.

How will I receive my funding?

All payments will be made in pounds sterling to your nominated UK bank account. Payment cannot be made to international bank accounts or third parties.

You can claim for support with overseas learning opportunities, in which case the University will calculate the amount to be paid in pounds sterling based on prevailing exchange rates.

When will I receive my funding?

We aim to assess and validate your claim and make payment within 28 calendar days.

Will I receive a tuition fee refund?

While the University (in line with its terms and conditions) will not be offering tuition fee refunds, it is offering support to students who have been affected by the strike in a range of ways. These include the significant mitigating steps that the University has put in place to ensure – while maintaining academic standards – that students are not disadvantaged in exams or progressing to the next year; and the new Opportunity Fund which provides support for students' wider learning experience.  

Who can I talk to about the Student Opportunity Fund?

If you have any general questions regarding the Fund you can also email:

ucu-action-queries@ed.ac.uk

Terms and conditions

You can download a copy of the Terms and Conditions for the Student Opportunity Fund below.