The Law School Mobility Fund

Students on campus

Funded entirely by philanthropic contributions from our generous donors, the Law School Social Mobility Fund has been vital in responding to the needs of our student community.

After recognising the challenges being faced by students as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, the Law School were able to respond with a number of initiatives developed to help students through the use of this crucial fund.

‘Brew and a Bite’ was developed by the Law School after learning that some students were surviving on only one meal a day. Through this scheme, the Law School buys food, drinks and sanitary products for all students to access freely as and when they need it. Promoted as a community building initiative, the scheme provides this support to all students who need it, and welcome students from across the campus to not only access this provision, but to use the facilities of the Law School building for socialising and studying, helping to promote better communication between students and staff.

In response to the cost-of-living concerns raised by students, a Law School Social Mobility Fund Grants Scheme was launched, whereby widening participation (WP) students (students who are traditionally under-represented at university) can apply for grants of up to ?100. The Law School has adopted the university’s widening participation criteria with the additional inclusion of parents aged under 21.

The School made the decision to keep the criteria as broad as possible as it was reported that many students from a range of backgrounds were struggling. To ensure a broader reach, postgraduate students, European and international students were included within the fund’s remit, with most of the applications related to challenges around the increased cost-of-living, including money for food, utility bills, travel costs and clothing.

Although the primary purpose of the fund was to contribute financially to support our students, the application process proved an ideal opportunity to identify other needs and therefore helped the team to signpost students to specific support services within the University, such as the wellbeing and mental health services team, the disability and inclusion service team and employability support, as well as College-based sources of support. The fund has re-opened this October in line with the start of the new academic year.

The fund also enabled the Law School to launch their Widening Participation project in Autumn 2022, designed to support widening participation (WP) students within the Law School.

The first stage of the project explored the experiences of WP students within the School in terms of the different challenges that they may face, and the contributions that they would like to make to the School. The Social Mobility Fund enabled two post-graduate co-researchers to work on the project, which included conducting surveys and focus groups to gather student views.

In this academic year, the School aims to design and implement initiatives to better support WP students. With a high proportion of students from under-represented backgrounds within the School, these students are even more vulnerable to the challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis, making the initiatives supported by this fund more pertinent than ever.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can respond to the needs of our students and help them to face the growing number of challenges that come their way.

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