CCCU students hit out at lack of communication over bursary payment

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) students have been left outraged and disappointed after they found out it would be a month longer than expected to receive their £250 university bursary payment.

In December, first and foundation-year students at the university were told to expect the second instalment of the £500 grant from March 1.

However, they have now been told by the university that the payment will arrive by April 1. 

Natalie Dearden, a 28-year-old first-year creative writing student, said she now had less trust in the university and believed they had shown a blatant disregard for the impact this would have on students.

She said: “My budgeting is very important to my ASD, and my mental health. I was completely triggered by it, and I was disgusted they hadn’t told us. There’s been no communication.

“I feel incredibly let down and disappointed. That bursary I was banking on getting yesterday was earmarked for bills and other responsibilities.

“I can’t even get an appointment with Student Support Services until the 22nd of March.”

“I was expecting the payment as everyone else was.”

Kyah Beach

The Diamond Jubilee Bursary of £500 was awarded to every first and foundation-year student who enrolled in CCCU in 2022, to celebrate 60 years of the university.

Kyah Beach, a foundation-year media and communications student, said the delay in payment had left her short and had resulted in her taking out loans.

The 20-year-old said: “I was expecting the payment, as everyone else was, and it wasn’t until I went on Facebook that I saw it had been delayed. 

“It’s left me short, and quite frankly, more in debt than I already am as a student.”

She added: “I respect the uni as much as I can but after this, I can’t. I feel like I’ve lost their respect.”

Students struggling with the cost-of-living crisis have been guided to drop-in sessions at Augustine House. Image credit: David Anstiss on geograph.

CCCU has released a statement which explained that while students were told to expect the second payment from March 1, they were also told the payment would be made by April 1.

The statement read: “Students were informed that they would receive their Diamond Jubilee Bursary in two instalments. The first was paid in December and students were told that the second payment would be made from 1 March, with payments made by 1 April.

“We understand that students are waiting for their second instalment and our colleagues are working hard to process these payments as quickly as possible, within the stated terms and conditions for the Jubilee Bursary payments.

“We are also aware of the difficulties the cost-of-living crisis is having upon our students and have put in place support for anyone who is experiencing financial difficulties. These include face-to-face drops in sessions with our Student Support Advisers every weekday in Augustine House 10.30am-4.30pm, virtually via Blackboard between 12-1pm or at the Wellbeing Café that runs every Thursday, 2 – 4.30pm in the Food Court. 

“Students can access more information on the support the University is offering via the cost-of-living hub or the Financial Support web pages.”

First-year students have also been told to make sure their bank details are updated on MyRecord to ensure they receive the second instalment of the bursary in a month’s time.

To access the student support web pages click here.

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Featured image credit: N. Chadwick on Geograph

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