UHI Inverness launches book fund to help students in hardship

Students at UHI Inverness can now apply to a new fund to cover the cost of purchasing the books they need for their studies.

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Carol Hart, Library and Learning Resource Centre Manager

The UHI Inverness Student Book Fund was launched this week as the latest initiative to support students struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Students experiencing financial hardship will be able to apply to the fund to receive free printed books on the required reading list. 

The scheme has a ‘pay it forward’ element which means that students can opt to return the books to the library when they are finished with them, to benefit other students.

It has been established to ensure students are not disadvantaged by being unable to afford print copies of books needed for their studies. Priority will be given to core texts that will be used throughout a module or unit.

Lindsay Snodgrass, Vice Principal – Student Experience & Quality, said: “We’re keen to support our students in as many ways as we can with the cost-of-living crisis, and this is our latest initiative to lend a helping hand with study costs.

“Although most of our book stock is available as ebooks online, some books are still only available in print. We’re aware that it can be costly for students to buy books for their course, so our new student book fund will help with this.

“The innovative ‘pay it forward’ element not only supports our future students through the gifting idea of asking current students to donate the books when they no longer need them, but also supports our efforts around sustainability.”

The fund is open to all students enrolled at UHI Inverness who are in financial hardship. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The application can be made online and is available through the online library guide and the virtual learning environment, known as Brightspace. After the application is approved the library will order the book from a supplier. It can then be picked up at the library or be sent out to students who study remotely.

Carol Hart, Library and Learning Resource Centre manager, said: “The UHI Inverness Student Book Fund is designed to help with the pressure of buying coursebooks. We are delighted to be able to offer this kind of assistance from the library service.”

UHI Inverness has launched a number of initiatives in recent months to offer support to students. Under the Share the Warmth initiative a free breakfast and a free lunch of winter soup and a roll are available to all students from Monday to Friday. Students can also help themselves to donated toiletries and winter coats from a room known as The Cubby.