Cost of living support

The rising cost of living is on everyone’s minds and is affecting us all in varying ways and to varying degrees.

Supporting our community

We’re aware that staff and students may be worried about money issues now and in the months to come. 

The University has taken a number of steps to support you and we will offer a wide range of financial advice, services and support to help staff and students who may be experiencing money issues. 

A cost of living steering group involving staff and students is exploring and developing a range of initiatives to further support the Sussex community who are dealing with the impact of the rising cost of living.

The University Executive Group has agreed to provide further support to both staff and students which, taking account all of the measures we have introduced so far, will total around £6.6m. 

For our staff

In July 2022, as one of the outcomes of negotiations with UCU, we made a one-off payment to all members of staff, ranging from £900 for Grades 1 to 6 to £300 for Grade 10 staff.

In September 2022 we achieved accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer, and we started paying the inflation-uplifted Real Living Wage in October as soon as it was announced. This is in addition to the funds that the University has already committed to paying in the final UCEA offer on the annual cost of living increase for staff (which was weighted towards the lower-paid staff) and contractual incremental progression for many staff. 

A second, progressive, non-consolidated payment to staff, weighted towards those on the lowest salaries is being made from November. Following feedback from the unions, these payments will be staggered across the winter, from November to March for Grades 1-7 and a single lump-sum payment for Grades 8 and 9.

From financial advice to subsidised low cost food options on campus and help with transport costs, we're here to support you. 

See the support, schemes and discounts available to you as a member of Sussex staff. 

For our students

See financial advice and cost of living information in the money and funding section of the Student Hub.

You'll also be able to find out about our University Hardship funds and welfare loans and Black Bullion’s free financial education platform. 

Other ways we're supporting our students 

For students, we are doubling the hardship fund, which is open to all students in need, home and international, at all levels – to £1.5m - and the Sussex Fund (supported by alumni and staff donations) is adding a further £200k to hardship support. We will keep demand on these funds under review, increasing them if needed over the coming months.

We are also making an additional payment of £200 to all 3,000 Sussex Bursary recipients (with a parental household income of less than £25k per annum), and we will be paying the Real Living Wage to our 275 Student Connectors. We have established a joint University-USSU cost of living working group that is exploring a wide range of ways in which we can further support students, practically and financially, through the difficult times ahead.

We are working with our caterers to ensure there are subsidised low-cost food options on campus, and will be providing a range of vegan and vegetarian hot meals for £2 across the winter period. Eat Central is located on the ground floor of Bramber House and open from 9am till 7pm.

For prospective students

We understand how important the cost of living is when it comes to choosing where to study. 

We have information and guidance on budgeting for living costs, both on campus and in private housing. You can also read budgeting tips for things like travel costs and learn how our student support services can help you.

The Blackbullion platform is available to current students and recent graduates, but you can register for the free online Money Ready For Uni course if you haven’t started studying with us yet.

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