University of Dundee: Application for Financial Assistance
The Student Funding Unit, on behalf of the University of Dundee, disburses the Higher Education Discretionary Fund and the Higher Education Childcare Fund in addition to various donations given to the university.
The process for disbursing the above funds is both robust and transparent, for which the university has been commended by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland. However, it is fully understood that not everyone who submits an application will be happy with the outcome. Therefore, this procedure seeks to clarify the application process and a guide as to how someone should complain, should they so wish.
A ‘Panel for Financial Aid’ exists to discuss applications from students with complex situation, perhaps those in crisis; postgraduate students; and students from out-with the UK. The majority of applications are dealt with in an administrative fashion.
The Panel comprises the Student Funding Officer, the Financial Capability Adviser and at least two members of the DUSA Executive Board. The Panel is regularly supplemented by senior members of the university staff: for example, the Principal and University Secretary.
At the start of each academic year, the Panel will meet to agree parameters within which the funds will be disbursed. These parameters are set taking cognisance of the allocation of funds, anticipated demand from students and any significant trends – for example, lack of employment opportunities. Whilst the nature of the main funds is discretionary, the Student Funding Unit (SFU) adheres to an equitable process.
All students who apply are informed, by email, of the outcome. Students whose applications are successful will then receive their payment within 15 working days.
Students whose applications are unsuccessful will be told the reason for this within their initial email. All students are encouraged to make contact with the SFU if they wish to explore this further. This process usually satisfies the student in terms of their query.
Students who remain dissatisfied and communicate this in writing (by email or letter) will be invited to meet with the Student Funding Officer, in the first instance. The Student Funding Officer will then, at its next meeting, raise the complaint with the Panel for Financial Aid. The decision of the Panel for Financial Aid will be communicated to the student, by email, within 5 working days of it having met.
Should this not satisfy the complainant and that this is communicated in writing to the Student Funding Officer, the complaint will then be passed to Mr Graham Nicholson, Director of Student Services and the President of DUSA who will meet with the complainant. Mr Nicholson and the President will then make final decision which will be communicated to the complainant within 7 working days of the meeting taking place and the Panel for Financial Aid will be informed of this decision and any relevant instructions.