The University of Aberdeen has today launched an ambitious fundraising appeal which aims to raise £150,000 for students facing severe financial hardship as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.
Alumni located across the globe will be asked to donate to the COVID-19 525 Bursary Fund, which has been set up by the University’s Development Trust to help care for and support students who are in greatest need.
The campaign’s initial £100,000 target will be matched pound for pound up to £50,000, thanks to a generous legacy donation.
Rob Donelson, Executive Director of Advancement, said the support the University would be able to offer with £150,000 of bursaries would have a major impact on the lives and studies of many.
“This has been a huge year for the University in lots of ways, not least because we are celebrating our 525th anniversary,” he said.
“One of our planned activities to mark the occasion had been the launch of a new spring/summer appeal to raise funds for 525 new student bursaries. With the current situation, however, and the fact that so many of our students are facing very difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, we have decided to bring this forward with the new appeal.
“From today, we will be reaching out to our graduate family around the world, asking them to help support students who are struggling in so many ways. Our alumni have always shown great generosity and benevolence, and we are confident that they will do what they can to make this happen.”
Funds raised from the campaign will be used to support students who have found themselves in the following circumstances:
- Those finding it harder to make ends meet as their part-time jobs have disappeared, yet they still have bills and rent to pay;
- Those who also rely on their family for support but may be gravely affected by loss of family income, including students undertaking important medical research;
- International students who find themselves confined to halls and unable to return home to their family;
- Those struggling to join online learning due to a lack of equipment or a poor internet connection;
- Students from disadvantaged backgrounds who may be unable to join in September without savings from summer jobs.
Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, described 2020 as one of the most challenging in the University’s history.
“In 1495, our foundational purpose was to be ‘open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others’. We are committed to upholding this principle throughout these challenging times,” he said.
“The extraordinary circumstances brought about by COVID-19 have impacted us all and our students, in particular, have been especially impacted financially. In the weeks ahead, we will be working hard to ensure that they all have the support they need and that no one is disadvantaged.”
Alumni who would like to donate to the University of Aberdeen COVID-19 525 Bursary Fund, can do so by clicking on the following links: