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Cost of living


Advice and support to help you manage your money

Information for students at the Cornwall Campuses

We know you may be feeling anxious about the rising cost of living, and managing your money at University. We have lots of information and advice to help you manage your finances, and we have support available if you’re struggling.

Tell us what you think

We realise that budgeting and cost saving can only go so far, and so you can keep getting the most out of your time with us at Exeter we’re continuing to look for more ways we can help support you through the cost of living crisis. We’re working together with all our campus partners to identify more practical help and opportunities where we can lessen the impact of rising costs on our students.

If you have ideas about ways we can do this, or suggestions for areas to explore, please let us know by giving your feedback through your Students' Union representative.

18 October 2022

Dear Students, 

I do hope that the first few weeks of term have gone well. I wrote to you two weeks ago setting out the measures we had put in place to support you during the current Cost of Living crisis. I know that this is a time of financial uncertainty, and that this can cause us all to feel concerned, even anxious at times. We have therefore continued working on the development of a further package of support with your representatives from the Students’ Union in Cornwall and the Students’ Guild in Exeter, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks for their leadership and support on this issue. Last week I took these proposals to the University’s Council and I am pleased to say that these were approved.

My last message set out the help we have already put in place and below I am outlining the additional ways in which we will support you this year

  • At the heart of these measures is a one-off winter payment of £150, which will be paid to undergraduate home fee-paying students who have a declared annual household income of less than £30,000. These payments will be made automatically to eligible students.
  • All students, including those who have received the winter payment, can apply for additional support via our Hardship Fund, which may provide help if you are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, or are unable to cover essential costs throughout the year. The Fund also offers specific bursaries including an IT bursary to help financially if you are struggling to afford computer equipment and support if you are unable to afford to pay for a diagnostic assessment (e.g. for Dyslexia). As mentioned in my previous email to you, we have added an additional £1 million to the Hardship Fund to increase the level of support we can provide this year.
  • The new package of support also includes measures to help you minimise your costs, for example, to ensure we always have a low-cost hot meal available for you on our campuses, a range of low-cost food options in our shops and warm places to go on campus to help if you are trying to save costs on fuel.
  • We have committed to the 13% rise in the PhD Stipend, having lobbied the UKRI to do the same. We have also added a further £250,000 to our Hardship Fund to provide support for self-funded PhD students who now find they are struggling financially.  
  • We are continuing to support the Students’ Union and the Students’ Guild in the provision of free sanitary products across all our campuses
  • Free healthy snacks are being introduced to our Hubs and Info Points
  • We understand how important it is to stay active, particularly to manage wellbeing, and so we have made available various free and low cost sports and gym sessions.  The Student Guild has also extended its ‘Give it a Go’ scheme to enable you to try new activities at low cost.

Throughout this process we’ve been working very closely with your representatives from the Students’ Union in Cornwall and Students’ Guild in Exeter. We are all united in our desire to do what we can to help you at this time. Our Cost of Living Task Force continues to meet weekly to seek additional ways to offer support and I, and the senior leaders at the University, receive regular updates from them. We are also working on a package of support for University staff, who also face challenges, and we hope to be able to share details with them soon.

  • Remember that financial difficulties are also now included as a reason for seeking mitigation, for this academic year. You can read more about that change of policy on our web pages.

  • We’re working with the UK’s leading debt advice charity, Step Change, to provide you with free, impartial and personalised support for your money and debt worries. You can get help from them in the following ways:

Online: use the online debt help tool to get advice now.

By phone: call 0800 138 1111. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturdays 8am to 4pm. Please use their budget form before calling.



Keeping in touch

We will continue to update you throughout this term. Don’t forget that we have a dedicated webpage which details our initiatives and the support you can get, from financial help to offers on our campuses. Do keep checking back as the page is updated regularly. We are also sharing updates via our weekly University Updates and our social media channels.

If you think there are other ways in which the University may be able to offer additional support, please share these with your representatives in the Students’ Union in Cornwall  (via this page

Your wellbeing

If your finances are affecting your mental wellbeing, please do get in touch with our wellbeing service for support and guidance; they are here to help. You can reach them here

I know this is a worrying time but we will continue to look for ways in which we can support you. 

Best wishes,



Professor Lisa Roberts



Previous messages from the Vice-Chancellor 

Message from the Vice-Chancellor 6 October 2022

16 January

Paying your tuition and accommodation fees

The Term Two payment date for tuition fees is 23 January. For those in University accommodation, the Term Two fees are due on 20 January.

If you are unable to pay your tuition fees in one go, you can set up a Recurring Card Payment Plan (RCP). By setting this up in January, you will be able to split the fees into four instalments which will allow you to pay in instalments until May (January, February, March and April). Get more details online.

If you are in financial difficulty and struggling to pay your tuition fees, please log a SID enquiry to the Accounts Receivable team. If you are struggling to pay your halls fees, contact or find out what help is available from the Success for All Fund.

Low cost lunches

There are some great value dishes available in the Stannary at lunchtime.

  • For £3 you can buy a small bowl of Chilli with rice or nachos or a grab and go hotpot (this includes a Halal option).
  • For £1.50 get beans with two slices of toast or a plain jacket potato and side salad. (85p for an additional topping)

Veganuary offers

In the Stannary you have a chance to see if a vegan diet can work for you. A special, budget-friendly, mini bowl of vegan curry will be available throughout January for £2.95.

In the shop there is wide range of vegan products in-store and their new 'HONEST' budget range to make a plant-based lifestyle easier and more accessible for you. In January you can get 5% off two Vegan recipes Vegetable Chilli and Mushroom and Violife (vegan cheese alternative) Lasagne. Visit their Facebook page for recipes or collect a recipe card in-store.

Too Good To Go at the Fox Cafe

In addition to the Penryn Campus Shop, The Fox Café on Falmouth Campus is now listed on the Too Good to Go app.

The app shows outlets nearby, where you can buy a surprise 'magic bag' of food and drink goodies which are at the end of their use by or best before dates. A bag costs you around £3, and the RRP price of all the items is £10. You’re saving money while also reducing food waste.

Find Fox Café on the app to purchase your magic bag and collect from the Fox Café between 3.30pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Managing worry about money

The rising cost of living is making it harder for everyone to balance their finances. Worries about money can affect your wellbeing and mental health. According to Student Space managing your emotions around finance can be an important step in taking control of your money. Find out more here.

If you need advice on managing your money and budgeting, contact your Students’ Union Advice team.

Find a warm place to study

There are lots of study space options on campus to help you keep warm this winter.

You can walk in and grab a seat in the libraries, learning lounges and other social spaces, including the Stannary and Fox Courtyard. There are choices for groups, solo working, and silent study in the libraries on Penryn and Falmouth campuses.

You can plan ahead and book a Group Study Room or a Silent Study Desk in Penryn Library via the Planon App. Find out how here.

You are also welcome to use any seminar room on campus that is not being used for teaching – check the screen above the door to see if it’s free, or use the Free Space Checker to find a room.

Don’t forget the ESI cafe, AMATA cafe, Stannary, Upper Stannary, Stannary Bar and Sustainability café are all warm social spaces where purchases are not required.

Scholarship opportunity - apply by the end of the month

If you are currently studying an undergraduate course and due to graduate in 2025, you could be eligible for the Santander Universities Scholars Programme. They are giving 100 students, from the groups who face the most challenges whilst attending university, the opportunity to get up to £30k of funding over three years, access to a bespoke training and development programme, and entry to exclusive networking events.

Act now, find out whether you’re eligible and how to apply, the programme is open for applications until the end of January.

9 January

Start your day right with a low cost breakfast

Breakfast in the Stannary is from 8:30-10:30am. Their value deals include:

  • Three-item bap and hot drink (vegan options available) £3.
  • Egg and cheese muffin and hot drink £3.
  • Egg, bacon and cheese muffin and hot drink £3.
  • Scrambled egg and two slices of toast £2.50
  • Cheese on toast £1.50.
  • Beans and two slices of toast £1.50.

See the latest food offers

Warm places on campus

If you’re looking for ways to keep warm, don’t forget you’re welcome to relax or work in any of the campus cafes. You can bring your own food and drink if you wish, and hot water is available on request.

In the Upper Stannary there are two microwaves and charging points for laptops or phones by many of the tables. In the Sustainability Café you can find free chilled and sparkling water.

Use TOTUM for extra discounts

The TOTUM student discount card and app offer a range of discounts on essentials, tech, travel and home delivery, including 10% on Co-op food in the campus shop. You can sign up to access TOTUM for £14.99 for one year, or £24.99 for three years. There is also TOTUM Digital which is free. Visit the TOTUM website for more.

12 December

Christmas in Cornwall

Staying on campus or in Cornwall over the winter break and Christmas? If so, check out the Christmas in Cornwall page to find out what facilities, services and events are available within the University. Most facilities and services will be available as normal until Thursday 22 December, and will re-open for normal business on Tuesday 3 January. Between these times there may be limited opening hours.

5 Things to Check Before the Winter Break

With the Cost of Living crisis affecting everyone this winter, your SU has put together advice on some small, practical things you can do now that will help save you time and money in the new year. See their '5 things to check before the winter break'.

Low-cost lunches

There are some great value dishes available in the Stannary at lunchtime:

For £3 you can buy a small bowl of Chilli with rice or nachos or a grab-and-go hotpot (this includes a Halal option).
For £1.50 get beans with two slices of toast or a plain jacket potato and side salad. (85p for an additional topping)

The Stannary will be closed on Friday 23 December to Monday 2 January inclusive, opening again on Tuesday 3 January. See details of all the Penryn campus services opening times.

Too Good To Go app

There are lots of shops around Falmouth, Penryn and Truro which are listed on the Too Good to Go app. It lets you purchase a ‘magic bag’ of surplus food from local restaurants, cafes and shops. It helps to combat the huge issue of food being wasted and you can bag a bargain. Items can be anything from sandwiches, to drinks and jars, and you won't know what you are going to get until you pick it up. Our Penryn Campus Shop is one of the outlets listed on the Too Good to Go app.

Warm spaces on campus

Throughout the winter break the Chaplaincy space at Tremough Barton Cottages 8 is open for you to use, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
The Library will be open 9am to 5pm on weekdays only between Christmas and New Year, except for Monday 26 December when it is closed.

5 December

Warm places on campus

You are welcome to relax or work in any of the cafes on campus and you can bring your own food and drink if you wish. Hot water is available on request.

In the Upper Stannary there are two microwaves and charging points for laptops or phones by many of the tables. In the Sustainability Café you can find free chilled and sparkling water.

Low-cost food

Did you know that Penryn Campus Shop is on the Too Good To Go App? The app enables you to buy a 'magic bag' of goodies that are at the end of their use by, or best before dates. It can be anything from sandwiches to drinks and jars. You won’t know what you are going to get until you pick it up.

The shop also discounts stock that is close to its use by date so it’s always worth taking a look to see what you can find.

Don’t forget you get a 10% discount on Co-op products in the shop with your NUS TOTUM Card.

Looking for part time work for the winter break or coming term?

If you’re looking to boost your income with casual work in the break, or alongside your studies, speak to Career Zone for help. From CV and interview support to job hunting and deciding which offer to accept, they can offer support in group sessions and one to one meetings to improve your chances of getting casual work. Contact them in person, by phone or on live chat so they can understand how best to help you.

If you're an international student you should always check your visa requirements for any restrictions to the hours and type of work that you can do.

Remember it’s important to balance any paid work with your studying, and make sure you’re getting some down time to rest and socialise, for your health and wellbeing. If you're finding this difficult, talk to your Personal Tutor or the Education Welfare team.

Whether you’re just starting out at University or are returning to your studies, we have some tips to help you keep on top of your money. 

1. Consider opening a student bank account. 

If you’re getting a maintenance loan you’ll need it to be paid into a bank account. Banks offer a range of different accounts with different benefits and incentives. Find out more about the types of account available at Money Helper or check out Money Saving Expert for their advice on choosing the best account for you.

2. Work out your budget

  • Look at your money and how long it needs to last you. If you’re receiving a maintenance loan it will come in 3 termly instalments.
  • Work out how much you need for all your essential contracted fixed costs, such as rent and your phone bill – make sure you can pay these first.
  • Next how much do you need to live and study – for food, books and transport?
  • Then look at what’s left for other things you want to do, and balance what you can afford.

The UCAS budget calculator may help you, or there are other free budgeting tools online.
And the Students’ Union can help you with budgeting advice.

3. Make sure you’re getting all you’re entitled to

Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for extra financial support, bursaries or benefits. For example, if you have caring responsibilities, need help to join a society, or need additional equipment to support your learning, there may be extra money available to you. Find out more in our Success For All Fund FAQs or ask your Students’ Union Advice Service. 

4. Look out for deals and savings

Lots of places offer student discounts and special deals. Check out Save The Student for the latest deals and freebies out there. Consider shopping together with your housemates so you can make the most of 'Buy One Get One Free' deals and bulk buying economies of scale.

5. Up your income

Consider a part time job if you can fit it around your studies. Career Zone advertise part time jobs that can help you gain experience and earn money while studying. Save The Student has a whole host of other money making tips, from shopping on cashback sites to completing paid surveys.

6. Don’t be tempted to use loan sharks, illegal money lenders, or quick-money schemes that may not be legitimate

If you’re struggling you can apply to our Success for All Fund for help during your time at Exeter. 

7. Deal with your debt

Although it can be stressful, problems with debt only get worse if you ignore them. Talk to your creditors about your situation and try to negotiate an affordable payment plan. If you’re struggling with paying your tuition fees, or the rent on your University accommodation, talk to us. You can contact us through the Student Information Desk (SID).  You can get advice on managing your debt from your Student Union or Student Guild advice service, or from debt organisations such as Step Change or National Debtline.

7. Ask for help

If you’re worried about your money, or dealing with debt, don’t keep it to yourself.  Please speak to your Students’ Union Advice Service. They can help find the right advice and support for you.  

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