How does your support make a difference?
In the past few years, support from alumni has made an enormous difference to the lives of students at Coventry University. The alumni community has donated tens of thousands of pounds and the money has been put towards a variety of great causes. Alumni donations to scholarships and bursaries, including the 'access to learning' fund have saved many students from the brink of financial disaster and from having to leave University. Back in 2007, alumni donations funded the purchase of a new flight simulator for the Computing & Engineering faculty, and in the past two years alumni have funded the purchase of many additional text books for the library, as well as donating towards their old societies and helping to set up new ones!
Why should you give your support?
The little acts of kindness you can make, whether it is donating £10 a month to scholarships and bursaries or simply taking the time to offer advice to current students, help add up to a big difference. Each student whose life you touch, who receives financial support, improved resources, or career advice, goes on with that much more of an advantage, and eventually graduates in a stronger position. Taking a little time to support your University also helps to support your own qualification and its reputation. Some alumni can even find ways to offer current students a placement and a taste of graduate life at their work place, and these students have a huge advantage over the competition when they enter the working world which reflects well on Coventry University and all who are associated with it.
What about the University's own funds?
The University already devotes a large amount of its funds to things like scholarships and bursaries, but the additional funds which come from alumni go a very long way indeed. Firstly, when the University approaches large donors like trusts, funds, or the government for funding, it helps enormously to be able to say that it has the active support of its alumni.
Secondly, whilst the University spends as much as it can on things like new course materials and financial support for students, these funds are limited and are invariably exhausted by the end of the year, while many students still have difficulties to face, whether that's being on a waiting list for a much needed text book or struggling to stay above water financially.
The people at the Phoenix Fund do not communicate how much has been given until the University have allocated their funding for the year, this way, everything you donate is additional money, and goes directly to benefitting students.
Testimonials from students who have been helped by your support...
"Without help from the access to learning fund, I'd never have made it through university"
Callum Nash recently graduated with a first class degree in Transport and Product Design, and he believes that without the help of student funding, which your Alumni donations go towards, he wouldn't have been able to get through his degree.
"I am not from a rich family and I had to fund myself through University, Although I worked hard and saved through the summer, I realised towards the end of my second year that I wouldn't have enough money to pay the rent and buy food!
I went without any money at all for two weeks before my friend told me about the Access to Learning Fund. She herself had used it in the past, I went into the Students Union and spoke to one of the Student Advisors, Caron Mckenna, who was an absolute saint and helped me get the funding I needed to survive to the end of the year.
"I know that some of the money that goes into the 'access to learning fund' comes from charitable contributions by alumni. I'd like to personally thank everyone who has ever donated for their generosity, it has saved me and many other students from having to drop out of University and stop pursuing their dreams - and it continues to do so."
Callum Nash is now an aspiring designer and inventor, you can see his work by going to www.iamcallum.com