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    Bring Back our Travel Bursaries!


      Geography is a fantastic area of study, one that boasts a wide range of topics, from dealing with climate change to why people volunteer. As diverse as the topics are the students who come to study here at the University of Reading, they are from all backgrounds and all walks of life - it's this diversity that makes the University such a special place.</p>

      Sadly the University has recently cut the 'Travel Bursary' available to students undertaking field trips, in an email communication about this with the RISIS Portal team, the view from the University was 'students are expected to make arrangements for these trips as they are a compulsory part of the course'. This is, quite frankly, shocking.</p>

      There are 2 compulsory field trips throughout the geography course here at UoR with a third optional trip. Geographers, as is the case with all students pay the full £9,000/9,250 tuition fee, yet on top of this we have to cover the costs (whilst these are subsidised they are still not 'cheap') of field trips (including often having to cover the cost of lunch/dinner whilst on these trips). This is not the case in other Universities across the country, with Travel Bursaries still available.</p>

      The decision to cut these bursaries was made centrally as geography lecturers were still advertising it in the run up to field trips - it would appear this bursary has been cut with little to no consultation with the academics and students whom this decision IS affecting. The compromise from the University was to offer a 'short term loan if your financial situation has changed unexpectedly'.</p>

      Field trips are one of the very best things about studying geography, it's a chance to make new friends, explore other parts of the world, embrace new cultures and develop a wide range of skills - however, these trips shouldn't be something that students fret over not being able to afford. By bringing back our travel bursaries we can ensure ALL students can comfortably afford to have these amazing experiences.</p>

      To ensure Geography ceases to be divided by class and household income.</p>

      To ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities at University regardless of their socioeconomic status.</p>

      To promote a sense 'togetherness' within the department.</p>

      To reduce the impact of field trips to those from lower income situations.</p>

      Idea submitted by Jack Abrey

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