Student Leaders secure more cost of living support for OU students

cost of livingcost of living crisisDeputy PresidentGareth Jonespriority-edi
The image shows Gareth Jones, CEC Deputy President

We know that like many in society, OU students are facing financial pressures related to the cost-of-living crisis. Whilst our ability to help directly isn’t great, we have put together a list of external resources to help direct you towards the support that you might be entitled to. This can be found here.
In addition to this, we have been advocating within the OU for greater support for students when it comes to financial challenges. We were delighted that the OU were responsive to this call, with the OU relaxing the criteria for the Student Assistance Fund to include ‘cost of living increases - you may be experiencing serious financial difficulty due to the increase in the cost of living, this may include energy, food, fuel etc.’. We are grateful for this relaxation but will continue to champion for more support where appropriate. The Student Assistance Fund is just one of many different avenues of support available for OU students, with more information available via the OU Help Centre. 
Our Area Representatives are currently working together to explore different ways OU students can be better supported in general. They are looking at the different policies which currently prohibit OU students from benefitting from initiatives which other students are entitled to, and we will share more when we can. If you have any ideas, please get in touch directly with your Area Representative, with their contact details available in their profiles.
Financial pressures can also cause our personal well-being to suffer. Therefore, we would like to remind you that there are a wide range of support and advice services available to you. This can include external support agencies or peer support by specially trained students. Full information is available here. Additionally, the OU have recently launched the ‘OU Wellness’ app, available to download through on smartphone devices.

Gareth Jones
Deputy President
(On behalf of the Student Leadership Team)