Durham University Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen’s Covid-19 recovery fund has raised over £28,000 since it launched last Friday (17th July).
The fund, which has received over 100 donations, will be used to provide urgent financial assistance for students, staff and alumni who have been most affected by the pandemic.
The money raised will provide bursaries to financially-disadvantaged students whose families and finances have been affected by the virus, and provide key workers and the children of frontline workers with financial support to make their transition into University life “as smooth as possible”.
It will also provide research grants to researchers working in Covid-19 recovery fields, and career development grants for this year’s graduates who will be graduating into the “most turbulent graduate jobs market in a decade”.
The recovery fund comes at a time of great uncertainty for students and graduates. A recent report by the Resolution Foundation found that graduates may be 13% less likely to be in employment three years after leaving education than they would have been without the pandemic.
Durham is not the only university to have set up a Covid-19 related fund. Oxford University also launched a Covid-19 research response fund in April to support research into all areas of the pandemic.
In his message, Sir Thomas Allen stated: “In recent months, our University community has faced some of its toughest challenges in living memory.”
“An indiscriminate global pandemic has bruised and wounded us – our staff, our students, and our alumni and friends – leaving scars that only time and our strong Durham community spirit can heal.”
He added: “We anticipate a challenging year ahead: a year for which we are prepared but also one in which we need your friendship and your support more than ever”.
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