We know that many of our students and their families are affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis. We recognise that financial challenges can be a significant worry, which may affect students’ mental health, ability to study and overall wellbeing.
Working closely with Abertay Students’ Association and our local and national partner organisations, we’ve put together a series of measures to help students who may be struggling, including additional financial and wellbeing support.
Students who are struggling can apply for financial support through the University’s Advisory Service. There are several funding packages available, and the money awarded does not need to be paid back.
Eligibility and award criteria vary between the different funds but rest assured support is available for any student in crisis. Please note that although this is a busy period for our Advisory Service, the team will be prioritising the most urgent enquiries.
'Abertaysty' is an initiative led by Abertay Students’ Association (SA) that offers free fresh food to students every week. Thanks to a generous donation from Baillie Gifford, the University will be allocating extra funds to allow Abertaysty to run an extra day per week, with the service now available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The time changes from week to week and is announced the day before on the Association’s Instagram.
To further support students, free porridge, cereal, fruit, doughnuts and hot drinks will be available in The Junction (Level 3, Kydd Building) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until 26 May 2023. The food will be set out from 8:30am and available on a first come first served basis.
For students who are in crisis, the University can provide emergency food vouchers and we also have a local foodbank referral service available through the Advisory Service.
The Council has set up a dedicated website page that signposts help and advice for local residents who are struggling with the cost of living. You can find information on paying energy bills, mental health and crisis support, and benefits and money advice, among others.
The Council recently launched Open Doors, an initiative inviting people in Dundee communities to meet others and enjoy activities in a warm and welcoming environment. Venues taking part in the programme include churches and community centres, libraries and sports venues. Activities on offer range from living room activities (such as board games, jigsaws and a cuppa on the couch) and sit-down meals to craft groups, sports sessions and much more. All are free or low-cost.
Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund can provide immediate relief to families with children (aged 21 and under) who are suffering extreme hardship. This support is usually via cash grants to assist with a range of needs, such as food, utilities, clothing, bedding, appliance repairs, replacement of appliances that have failed, or other essentials.
Dundee and Angus Foodbank offers a great service providing emergency food parcels to those in need. However, they recently announced that they have to reduce the number of parcels given out to households due to demand outstripping donations. If any member of the Abertay community is able to donate food items or money, you can find out how to do so on the Foodbank's website.
The University Library is operating extended opening hours due to the exam period giving students a warm place to study for even longer than is usually the case. During this time the Library is open until 2am on weekdays and 10pm on weekends.
The University has a laptop loan scheme where students can borrow IT equipment on either a short-term or long-term basis, depending on what suits their needs.
There are also ‘charging lockers’ available in the Library where students can charge their personal devices, such as laptops, tablets or mobile phones, for free.
The University has made academic textbooks available as free e-books to ensure that students can access their learning resources regardless of their financial situation.
We encourage those eligible to sign up for the Scottish Government's free public transport scheme for anyone aged under 22. Anyone aged 5-21 who lives in Scotland for at least 6 months per year can travel anywhere in Scotland by bus/coach for free.
If you are a student and often take the train, you can apply for a ScotRail 16-25 Railcard. All students are eligible for this Railcard, even if they are over 25. This costs £30 but gives you 1/3 off tickets for a year. Apply for the Scotrail 16-25 Railcard.
There is a provision of free period products at Abertay for students who may need them. A range of products are available in every female and gender-neutral washroom on campus and are available in larger quantities to take home from the Student’s Association.
Abertay University is also included in the PickMyPeriod app, available on Apple and Android devices, which lists sites across Scotland where free period products can be picked up.