Over the last few years, students affected by the troubles in their home countries received grants from the Student Hardship Fund to allow them to complete their studies at Lancaster
Above: Joyce with her students (photo taken on a webcam in Zimbabwe)
A grant of £2,000 was made in 2011 to support a Zimbabwean distance-learning student to pay the remainder of her tuition fees when she faced financial dire straits in the face of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.
“As a Zimbabwean student, I first came into contact with Lancaster University back in the year 2004 when I was selected for an online writing course, Crossing Borders. The course was a British Council and Lancaster University initiative, with Zimbabwean and Ugandan poets exchanging their work. In 2009, Lancaster University offered me the opportunity to study for an MA in the department of English and Creative Writing. At that point, as a school teacher in Zimbabwe, I could not raise the required fees. My salary was almost zero as Zimbabwe's currency was being eroded by record-breaking inflation. I thought I was going to regret the missed chance for the rest of my life.
When the University announced that there was a scholarship to be awarded to a student in difficult circumstances, my hopes were raised. I needed only to apply. Imagine my joy on learning that I had made it into the top two. I have been on the course for almost two years now. It is a good thing it is coming to an end but I am going to miss it. It has made my life so much more purposeful. The online tutorials and conferences have been so informative it is hard to imagine better learning channels.
I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the University and all those who donate to it, for making my scholarship possible and my dream a reality.”
Rahaf Aldoughli, an English Literary Studies MA student, was being sponsored by the University of Aleppo in Syria. However, as a result of the political crisis she had not received any living expense money. Increasing difficulties in Syria meant that family back home were unable to financially support Rahaf, whose brother and father were arrested. Rahaf and her husband and child were granted asylum in the UK. Lancaster University waived the outstanding tuition fees and the Friends Programme grant provided living costs to the Rahaf and her family.
“My dream was on the verge of vanishing if this award was not given to me. It has offered me a chance to get out of the hardship that my family and my country are going through. Thank you.”
Rahaf is now studying for a PhD in Politics at Lancaster and has ambitions to become a writer and lecturer in the future.
Many donations given to the University’s Friends Programme are directed to the student hardship fund which supports students from a wide variety of backgrounds through no fault of their own, run into financial trouble during their studies. Donations to the student hardship fund provide the financial means to allow these students to successfully complete their qualifications.
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