Bristol University U-turns over threats to take unpaid rent out of student bursaries

  • Report by Richard Payne

The University of Bristol has made a major U-turn, saying it will no longer take money from the bursaries of students who are currently refusing to pay their rent.

More than 1,400 students are currently holding a rent strike, claiming the university has not offered them enough support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bosses at the university announced they would be withholding bursary payments to cover arrears; something the students described as "disgraceful."

At University of Bristol, bursaries are awarded to students who have a household income of £42,875 or less.

On Friday 20 November, the university decided to make a major U-turn - saying students will still receive their bursaries in December like planned.

Students have welcomed this announcement, but are still demanding the university "meets demands and grants a rent reduction."

University of Bristol statement:

"In light of the current circumstances and following discussion with Bristol Students' Union, we have decided we will not offset any bursary payments made in December against student debt.

"We apologise for the uncertainty this has caused and can confirm installments will be paid in full to all bursary recipients on 2 December.”