Hand with a disintegrating Sterling currency icon

We know that the pandemic is causing unexpected financial hardship for many people. If you are in this position, you should apply to your funder (if you have one) for additional support. You should also speak to your Tutor, as many Colleges have hardship funds that can help to support students. Additionally, the University provides a number of funds. See information on University funding.

University funding 2021-22

  • Bell, Abbot and Barnes — For help with long-term financial needs such as maintenance and rental costs (for undergraduates, clinical medics and part III students only).
  • Childcare Funds — For help with childcare costs, parent students can access this fund, which will run in rounds.
  • Crane’s Charity — For help with costs towards the support of mental or physical wellbeing. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
  • Postgraduate Hardship Fund — For help with long-term financial needs such as maintenance and rental costs (for MPhil and PhD students only). Includes the PGR CAS scheme above for self-funding eligible postgraduate research students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Special Hardship Fund* — For the academic year 2021-22 the Special Hardship Fund may be able to provide support with unexpected, direct and immediate costs as a result of COVID-19 that can be evidenced, for example cost of flights or hotel quarantine. It is also accessible to intermitting students with no other form of financial support.

UK hotel quarantine costs for study in 2021-22

Students travelling to the UK from "red list" countries currently have to book a hotel quarantine package from 14 days before their date of travel – further information and advice is available on our webpage for international students travelling to the UK. Please read this before booking your travel and be aware that the situation is subject to change.

The Collegiate University does not want the cost of hotel quarantine to deter our students from being in Cambridge. The University cannot cover these costs routinely, but has put the following support in place:

  • Students will need to cover hotel quarantine costs upfront either themselves or through their funding sponsors (the University cannot offer financial support before a student commences their studies).
  • If a student finds themselves in financial difficulties due to the cost of hotel quarantine, once they have arrived in Cambridge they may apply for hardship funding. This may cover up to the full cost of hotel quarantine in the following circumstances:
    • Students can demonstrate financial hardship caused by the cost of UK hotel quarantine
    • Students (on both full time and part time courses) make only one application for hardship funding based on UK quarantine costs per academic year (except in exceptional circumstances)
    • Students are not applying for financial support towards quarantine costs outside the UK (eg for fieldwork purposes).

The Collegiate University has agreed the following approach to access hardship funding in the first instance:

  1. Students who have a funding sponsor should approach their sponsor first to request financial support. The leading funders of international students at Cambridge (the Cambridge Trust, Gates Trust and Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme) have agreed that students may approach them directly (with the exception of UKRI funded students who should approach the University Special Hardship fund – see 3 below)
  2. Undergraduate students should approach their College Tutor and apply for College Hardship funding if necessary
  3. Postgraduate students, without a funding sponsor able to provide support, may apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund (from 1st October 2021). Students on Judge Business School (JBS) MBA, MFin, EMBA and MAcc programmes may approach their course co-ordinators if, in exceptional circumstances, they find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties for unplanned costs due to changes in quarantine rules post-enrolment.

Students in categories 1-3 above who find that their funding sponsor/College/Department is unable to provide support should request a written statement to that effect in order to apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund.

Postgraduate Research funded extensions due to Covid-19 disruption

Postgraduate Research students will find more about the approach to funded extensions taken by funders within Cambridge University here.

Students who cannot gain additional support from their funder can apply to University Hardship Funds.

Students who are self-funded can apply to the new Postgraduate Research COVID-19 Assistance Fund (PGR CAS). This new fund was created by the University in July 2021 to support self-funding postgraduate research students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is intended to provide up to 3 months' maintenance allowance to enable students to complete their research and submit their degree. Students will need to show that they have attempted to adapt their projects to mitigate the impact of disruption from COVID-19. Awards will be means tested, ensuring that funding is targeted at those students most in need. Students can apply through the Postgraduate Hardship Fund and by completing an additional application form (PGR CAS).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UKRI awarded funding to the University to make available to students within the UKRI Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extensions scheme. The University established a dedicated Governance Committee to oversee the allocation of funding, which reported to the University Postgraduate Committee. The final report on the allocation of this funding is available on our webpages.

* As the Special Hardship Fund has received a high volume of applications, you should also speak to your College Tutor and explore all other available support such as:

Eligibility for University hardship funds

A guide to applying to Cambridge University hardship funds (PDF) >