What is the Students Project Fund?
The Projects fund provides seed funding for up to 3 years to support great ideas from students and staff to enhance student life. it has been responsible form some groundbreaking initiatives that have supported all students.
How was it set up?
The Student Project Fund sends a request for applications to all staff and students, as in the attached email. Student services’ and Students’ Unions negotiated this with the University to ensure that (a) to support service provision and (b) to ensure that students had equal input to decision making on services / capital expenditure for services. The studetnt levy provides 40% of the funding and the University matches this will 60% to provide over 800k for ideas each year.
Who can apply?
The Student Project Fund Review Board review applications and meet applicants before they make decisions on applications, a Board comprised of the three Students’ Union sabbatical officers and three University staff (the Dean of Students, Director of Students Services and a representative from the Bursar’s Office).
Funding can be given for a minimum of one and maximum of three years – either the project is completed OR alternative funding must be found (such as from a university budget). There is an annual review of projects to ensure they are meeting their aims.
1. How much does the University contribute into the fund?
Example based on student numbers, it varies yearly.
€44.63 per full-time undergraduate Student
2. How much students contribute through the student levy?
€19.69 of €224 Levy
3. How much the total fund available is each year?
Why does it matter?
it has been possible to set up projects that could not gain the seed funding to bring really important work forward e.g. CÉIM, Seas Suas, Active Consent, CUSP / sustainability, Yourspace, the Academic Skills Hub, Silver Cloud and Participate (online mental health), KeepCups for all first years, student surveys on mental health, specific support for groups such as LGBT ….
What impact will the changes in the levy have?
If the current referendum is passed then such initiatives will most likely disappear. Students will no longer have an equal say in initiatives that should receive funding and the related victories and negotiations of past Students’ Union sabbatical officers will become part of history.
The work of units such as Counselling, Chaplaincy, the Student Health Unit, the Career Development Centre, Accommodation and Welfare, the Access Centre / Disability Support Clubs and of Societies) will be set back two decades. NUI Galway students will ultimately be the losers.