Hardship Grants for International Students in UK 

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Hardship Grants for International Students in UK

Hardship grants are grants that are offered by the government to students to continue their studies. International students who are going through hardships can apply for hardship grants. In fact, the UK government has decided that it will distribute an additional  £15 million in funding for international students. The British government will distribute this money to the universities and the colleges in turn will distribute the amount to the students. Hardship funds cannot be paid for tuition fees. These are means-tested funds provided to students to cover their living expenses for a short period of time. Keep reading to know more about the hardship grants for International students in the UK.

What is Hardship funding?

The student hardship fund is a fund that is granted by universities to students. The hardship fund is granted to students who are having genuine financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay their living costs.  The hardship faced by the student needs to be genuine and it needs to be an unavoidable circumstance that is preventing the student from continuing their studies. Such students can apply for hardship funds decided by the university. The funds can be paid in lump sums or in installments.

How Does Hardship Funding Work?

Several students go through financial difficulties. However, hardship is classified as an unavoidable circumstance causing financial difficulties. Below are the situations that are taken into consideration as hardship for providing the hardship funds.

  • Single parents or students with children
  • A mature student who has several financial commitments
  • A student coming from a low-income family 
  • Students with disabilities
  • A care leaver or a student who was earlier in care
  • Homeless student or a student who is living in a foyer

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Eligibility Criteria 

Below is the general eligibility criteria for the hardship grants are as follows.

  • The grant is only available to undergraduate, and postgraduate students
  • International students, UK students, pre-settled EU students who have not received funds from a UK funding body
  • There is no other possible source of funding. It includes the SLC (student loan company), or any other grants
  • Have gone through financial hardship after declaring that you have funds to support tuition costs and living expenses to UKVI to obtain sponsorship?
  • Some universities require you to have less than £500 across all bank accounts. 
  • Students who have been negatively impacted by the late stipend payment. Such students need to include this information in their Statement of Purpose to receive funding.
  • Students who are estranged from both their parents or have been a victim of fraud
  • Some universities require the student to show proof that adequate funds for tuition fees have been arranged. The reason is to prevent the student from using the hardship fund for tuition fee payment.

Non-eligible Candidates 

Not every student is eligible to receive hardship funding. The hardship grants are not given to the students who fall under the below categories.

  • Students who have shown multiple repeat years in their academic performance 
  • Students who have temporarily suspended their studies for an agreed duration. Such students with authorized interruption of studies will not be eligible for hardship funding.

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UK Universities Providing Hardship Funds 

Several UK universities hardship funds are given to several International students. Here is a list of universities offering hardship grants to students.

University Name Fund Name Amount Granted
Oxford University Oxford Hardship Fund Up to £3,000/INR 3.01 lakh
University of LondonUniversity of London Hardship GrantUp to £3,000/ INR 3.01 lakh
University of BristolUniversity Hardship Fund (Digital support fund and financial assistance fund)Non-UK Students- Hardship Fund
The University of EdinburghNorthumbria University Newcastle NA
The University of CambridgeHardship Funding for Postgraduate StudentsUp to £2,000/INR 2.01 lakh
The University of LiverpoolUniversity Hardship FundNA
The University of Essex Hardship fundUp to £1,500/INR 1.50 lakh
The University of Arts LondonHardship fund-International students£250- £2,000/INR 25,128- INR  2.01 lakh
Loughborough UniversityHardship Funds Up to £250/INR 25,128
Northumbria University NewCastle Hardship FundNA

Evidence Checklist

International students need to provide certain evidence as support of their application. Below is a list of the evidence checklist that an international student can submit.

  • At least 3 months of recent bank statements
  • Provide a copy of the tenancy agreement, if applicable
  • Household income evidence such as parents/guardian/partner’s pay slip
  • Caring responsibility evidence. That is a birth certificate of children or proof that adults are dependent on you.
  • Care leaver proof- Proof from an official authority of your previous looked-after-status
  • Doctors note as proof of disability 
  • Debt collection letters as proof of debt
  • Confirming that you are under 25 years and are not in contact with either/both of your parents for at least a year. It is required if you are applying for the grant under the estrangement from parents category.
  • Crime reference number in case you have been a victim of fraud
  • Proof of the cost incurred due to the bereavement of a parent/guardian/sibling, if applicable
  • In case of loss of earnings redundancy letter impacting income(parent/guardian) has to be submitted

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Application Process

Below is the application process that a student needs to complete to be considered for a hardship grant.

  • Visit the official website of the university you want to apply
  • Next click on ‘hardship fund’ to know more details about the hardship fund application process
  • Download the application form and fill in all the essential details 
  • Next,  submit the application form along with supporting documents. It is required to show the extent of the hardship claim. 
  • The hardship claim must be submitted with evidence of the cost. 
  • Explain clearly the reasons for hardship due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Finally submit the form through email to the department to which you submitted it.


Q1. What are hardship funds for UK students?

Ans. Hardship funds are funds that are paid by the university to assist with the living expenses of the students. Hardship funds are given to students who have gone through unforeseen financial hardship. Depending on the university a student may get £250- £2,000 as a hardship fund. The hardship funds need not be paid back by the student.

Q2. Can international students apply for hardship funds?

Ans. Yes. International students can apply for hardship funds. However, they are required to pay the tuition fees in advance. Another criterion for giving hardship funds is that the student must have a genuine financial hardship that needs assistance.

Q3. How much can I get for the student hardship fund?

Ans. Depending on the university a student will get a hardship fund between £250- £2,000. No university grants a hardship fund of less than £250.

Hardship grants are offered by the UK government to assist students going through genuine hardship to complete their studies. To apply for the hardship grant a student needs to be in a genuine hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. Such applications that meet the eligibility criteria are considered by UK universities. U.K universities provide hardship grants to international students between £250- £2,000. Students can use these funds to meet their living expenses. To discover more articles like this, visit the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu.

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