Who gets access funds

March 31, 2000

You report that a student of the University of Southampton alleges she was told that access funds were "only for people like single mums with three kids" ("Siblings in High Court fee fight", THES, March 17).

In the past decade this university has developed, in close contact with the students' union, a number of criteria for the distribution of access funds, and the university takes very seriously its responsibility to distribute them to those students in the greatest financial need. Your readers will also be aware, however, that the Higher Education Funding Council for England stipulates that access funds cannot be used to help those students who have decided not to take out a student loan. We note that your report does not reveal if the student had indeed taken out such a loan.

Rex Knight Academic registrar University of Southampton

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