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Doubling of funding to students under RCSI hardship initiative

By Niamh Quinlan - 27th May 2022

funding to students
Doubling of funding to students under RCSI hardship initiative

The amount of funding allocated to students through RCSI’s student hardship fund (SHF) has more than doubled between 2018 and 2021, according to figures obtained by the Medical Independent through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. 

For the academic year 2018/2019, some €13,901 in funding was provided to students, and this rose to €16,139 in 2019/2020. The 2020/2021 academic year saw a further increase to €28,120, an overall rise of €14,219 over three years. 

The SHF offers financial support to non-EU students who may be experiencing “unforeseen hardship, which could jeopardise their ability to continue their studies”, according to the RCSI. 

The FoI response showed there was also a rise in the number of students who obtained funding. In 2018/2019, all nine students who applied for the fund received support. In 2019/2020, 12 students applied, but only eight were granted funding; and in 2020/2021, 15 students applied for the SHF and 14 were approved. 

In the most recent 2021/2022 academic year, between September and March, four students applied for the SHF and all were granted funding. 

The level of funding provided to students can vary signficantly. The lowest allocation was to a student in 2018/2019, who received €101. The highest allocations were to four students in 2020/2021, who each received €5,000. 

The funding is provided through the College’s Alumni Annual Giving Programme. 

“While the fund is open to all non-EU students, special consideration is given to undergraduate students with financial difficulties,” states the RCSI website. 

Funding may be provided for short-term emergency accommodation, emergency medical expenses, and costs related to family breakdown and bereavement, for example. However, tuition and registration fees, tax liability, and loan repayments are not covered by the SHF. 

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The Medical Independent 26th September 2023

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