Support for University Students: Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:48 pm on 3rd February 2021.

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Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education) 12:48 pm, 3rd February 2021

I can indeed confirm that this is new money. It is not right to break it down per student, because it is dedicated to those students who are most in need. The difference from the funding in Wales and Scotland is that this funding is for until the end of the financial year—in effect, just for the next three months.

This Government are concerned about digital poverty, and the Secretary of State for Education commissioned a review by the Office for Students, which is shortly to report—this month, I believe. Mental health is a priority of mine, and it is why we worked with the OfS to set up Student Space. It is why at every single stage I have reiterated the importance of mental health and wellbeing provision, and communication with university students, because this is a difficult and challenging time. Unlike the hon. Lady, who told her party activists to use the crisis a political opportunity, our priority is to ensure that the opportunities of our young people are safeguarded and that students are not left in hardship because of the pandemic.