As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Newcastle Student Fund, we reflect on how donations from our alumni and supporter community have made a real impact on student causes.

The Newcastle Student Fund was created in June 2021 as a legacy of kindness, hope and belief in the power of education, following the challenging time faced by our student community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, more than £370,000 has been distributed on behalf of our generous alumni and friends. This has supported numerous student causes, including immediate financial aid to students affected by the war in Ukraine, IT provision for refugee and asylum-seeking students, and support for emergency accommodation for any student who finds themselves without a safe place to live.

In the past year, you have helped our students when they needed it most and ensured that they have access to the best possible opportunities during their time at Newcastle University. Here are just a few examples of the ways your donations have made a difference.

Supporting students to get into Higher Education

The Newcastle Student Fund aims to ensure that university is open to the brightest, most motivated students, whatever their background.

Sanctuary Scholarships have been designed to enable students from asylum-seeker and refugee backgrounds to progress to higher level study. With your help, they provide full tuition fee support and a bursary for living expenses.

I’m really grateful for the Sanctuary Scholarship because, without it, I wouldn’t have been able to study at all as I can’t access mainstream funding for university. I was very lucky to be successful in my application.

Joe, Chemical Engineering student

Alumnus Fuzzy Bitar (Mining Engineering, 1988) is a supporter of the Sanctuary Scholarship. He explained why giving is important to him:

“Having studied at Newcastle University myself, I can’t emphasise enough how important education is. With the support and guidance of my father I was able to succeed in further education, providing a great foundation in life for myself. In his memory I would like to return that support to young people today, assisting them to create a bright future for themselves.”

As well as supporting current students, the Newcastle Student Fund is also helping future generations to access higher education. Your donations have helped to open the first IntoUniversity Education Centre in the region, IntoUniversity Newcastle East, which is set to empower thousands of young people aged 7-18 to achieve their academic and career ambitions. IntoUniversity is a national education charity which provides local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve.

Supporting students to make the most of their student experience

We don't want any student to miss out on what makes belonging to Newcastle University so special.

Your donations have helped us establish a new bursary to remove the financial obstacles that prevent students from accessing the activities offered by our Students’ Union. The Participation Bursary contributes to the cost of getting involved, such as club and society membership fees, club and society trips, as well as sports kits and equipment.

As an international student I think it is a hard mission to come here and learn because I have to pay more than home students. I found out there was a Sport Centre during my first month here, but I knew I couldn’t afford to allocate money towards a membership. It is thanks to the Participation Bursary that I was able to fund my membership. I really appreciate that the donations have allowed me to be able to exercise, to do something that I enjoy but also to provide me with the opportunity to take a break from my studies.

Jin-De Lin, postgraduate Biomedical Engineering student

Following the disruption to graduation celebrations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a special fund was also made available to provide travel bursaries for those attending rescheduled ceremonies. This allowed returning graduates to have the opportunity to complete their student experience and celebrate their achievements.

Supporting students in times of greatest need

We want to make sure we can be there for future students that need support, no matter what, and help remove financial pressures so our students can focus fully on their time at Newcastle.

Your donations have provided immediate financial aid to students affected by political unrest, including in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Funds were also set aside for any student who found themselves without a safe place to live to help them access emergency accommodation.

It is vital that we can respond to difficult situations as they arise and be there for our students when needed. As always, I am most grateful to our alumni and supporter community for enabling us to react instantly to alleviate the financial burdens facing students as they arise, making a difficult situation that little bit easier.

Paul Tyack, Director of Advancement at Newcastle University

Supporting student to get ahead in the graduate job market

We want to help prepare students for their future after university, by providing them with the opportunity to access the necessary experiences needed to get ahead in the graduate job market.

With your help, we have established Make It Happen bursaries which will soon be available to students and recent graduates, supporting them in taking the next step in their career development.

The bursaries cover a range of needs associated with starting a career, including costs associated with attending interviews or work experience opportunities, testing a business idea and early-stage entrepreneurship, as well as funding towards graduate internships. Students applying to 4-year graduate entry medicine programmes at medical schools requiring the GAMSAT aptitude test can also access funding from the bursaries.

This is an exciting opportunity for the students and graduates at Newcastle to access a range of funding to support them with their career development. The Careers Service looks forward to launching this fund in full next academic year.

Newcastle University Careers Service

Thank you for your support over the past year. Your donations and ongoing support truly make a difference to the lives of our students. Sophie Major, an undergraduate Law student and recipient of the Opportunity Scholarship, expresses her gratitude to our alumni and supporters for their ongoing support to current students like herself:

“I wouldn’t be here without the Opportunity Scholarship. There are many things that I wouldn’t be able to do, such as go to the Law ball and other events that I want to attend, which is made possible thanks to this scholarship. It’s helped me a lot and it’s gave me more confidence as well. I am grateful for everything.

“If you can donate, I honestly think it’s the best thing that someone has ever done for me. A lot of things that I have in life, that some people may take for granted, is due to this scholarship and I know it’s making other lives better too. So, if you can then please do sign up to donate to support students like me.”

Find out more and support our students

If you would like to find out more about the Newcastle Student Fund and how your donation can make a difference to current students, please click the button below.

Support our Students