Support for our students
We’re supporting our students during the cost-of-living crisis through the following initiatives:
In addition to our existing £2.1m Keele Support Fund and Bursary Budget (which provides funding to students in targeted groups within our Access & Participation Plan) we also have a Hardship Fund of £184,000 for 2022-23. This fund currently provides a 60% grant towards costs for eligible students who are in urgent need of financial support, but we are now increasing this percentage contribution of assessed funding need to 100% and increasing our maximum allocation to £2,500. If you have already applied for our hardship fund this academic year, your application will be reassessed in line with this new provision, and you do not need to take any action or reapply.
We also provide supermarket vouchers for students who are in urgent financial need, and we have increased the number of vouchers that are available. Further information regarding how to access this scheme can be found here.
In addition to the above, our students have access to internal and external advice and support, including via the Student Assistance Programme, drop-in advice services (“Money Mondays” and evening drop-in sessions) with specialist staff, and a new referral systems in place with Step Change for students facing problems with debt. To access these services, please click here.
We understand that juggling work and study can be difficult, especially when you need to work more hours to increase your earnings through the current cost-of-living crisis.
As such, our new Exceptional Circumstances process allows students to access a seven calendar day extension to coursework up to three times per semester. No evidence is required for students to access this and it is in place to ensure students have the flexibility to balance study with other commitments, such as paid work. This is in addition to the option to submit a full exceptional circumstances request, with evidence, to access another assessment opportunity, if a student has been significantly affected by external factors.
We also provide a Support to Study scheme. This allows students to work with their School and Student Services if they are struggling to engage with their studies due to external factors, and it is in the best interests of the student.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced that it is increasing its minimum student stipend for postgraduate research students by 10% on the previously announced level for the 2022-23 academic year. The increased stipend will be provided to students in receipt of a UKRI stipend commencing or continuing their studies from 1 October 2022. The minimum stipend from 1 October 2022 will be £17,668 full-time equivalent.
The University will also be increasing the level of stipend payments that we make as part of our own scholarship programme by 10%.
We will also be topping up the level of scholarship payments made by third-party scholarship funders by an additional 10% or up to the UKRI stipend level of £17,668.
Self-funded PGR students who are not covered by a stipend are able to apply for hardship funding if they are in urgent need of financial support.
The University offers many inclusive social and extracurricular activities that are delivered in warm spaces, including board games nights, lunchtime hang-out at Keele Chapel, and Wellbeing Wednesdays & Crafternoons in Chancellors.
There are a number of other events such as film nights and quizzes, in addition to spaces that are already open and warm such as the Library and Chapel.
Keele Students’ Union and Keele Postgraduate Association also offer events and spaces for students to use.
For a full list of activities and events, please check the What’s On section on the Keele App.
We’re making improvements to the Wi-Fi around campus to ensure you always have a free, strong, and secure wireless connection at Keele. You can also access free internet through Eduroam at various locations including the Royal Stoke University Hospital, County Hospital Stafford, and Staffordshire Libraries. Eduroam is also available across most UK university campuses and some college campuses worldwide, so you can access a free and secure internet connection wherever you may be - your Keele account is your key to access this.
For those studying on campus, we have introduced a range of affordable food offers in CENTRAL at both breakfast and lunchtime, which are subsidised by the University. From November 14th, these will include a hot "dish of the day" for £2.75 which will be available every weekday lunchtime. You can also buy soup and a buttered roll for just £1 from CENTRAL TO GO every lunchtime, and there is a £1 coffee and a pastry offer at breakfast too.
These offers are in addition to the regular meal deals available at CENTRAL.
All students can help themselves to free tea and coffee in the Chapel kitchen. There is also a microwave in the kitchen should you wish to use it.
Although the 25 bus provides frequent services to and from the campus, we appreciate that not all colleagues live on the route of this service.
Therefore, the current fares which allow travel anywhere within the service area for Keele staff, have been reduced from £4.50 to £3.15 per day, and the weekly fare has been reduced from £17 to £11.90 per week.
An annual ticket has been reduced from £349.00 to £300.00 per annum.
You will need to present a valid Keele Card when purchasing tickets directly (on the bus) from D&G and/or First, or declare your University e-mail address when purchasing online (website and the app).
Make sure that you have your Keele card with you when you travel as you will be asked to present it.
As part of our cost-of-living support, we are now offering free period products on campus.
Students can pick up the free period packs - with no questions asked - from the receptions of:
- Student Services Centre (Tawney Building)
- Denise Coates Building Reception
- Security (Darwin Building)
- Sports Centre
- Islamic Centre
- Campus Library
- Students' Union
- KPA Clubhouse
- Keele Chapel
Our Library has a wide range of resources available 24 hours a day on campus in our warm and welcoming space. In order to make the most of your time on campus, you can book a study area in the Library (last bookings for study rooms is 7pm).
There is now also the ability to remotely book a desk in the Library. This is initially in the form of a pilot, and is intended to ensure that appropriate facilities are available for our students so that journeys to campus are productive and not hampered by lack of appropriate working space once you get here.
We also offer e-resources which you can access remotely without having to travel to campus. If you need any help finding what you need, please contact the Library via the Library Self-Service Portal, email: email@example.com, or start a Live Chat.
We’ll soon be trialling Virtual desktops so that students can access the software required for their course from anywhere in the world, a pilot project for this will be launched in December 2022 and will run through until the end of the academic year.
You can watch free films or TV series via Box of Broadcasts which provides access to an unrivalled selection of content. In addition, the Library will soon be introducing a new range of magazines, books and audio books for study and leisure. These resources will be available to all users of the Library and details will be advertised on our web page and via our social media @KeeleLibrary.
We also provide laptops that can be loaned for the day or even semester-long if required. These can be collected from the Library. The laptops are loaded with all the software you need to carry out your studies including some accessibility software.
As a high number of students work at Keele in casual roles, we are pleased to announce that we have agreed to uplift casual hourly rates in line with the voluntary living wage of £10.90 per hour. This change will be effective in the March 2023 payroll.