The Oxford Hub has started a petition after losing £70k of vital funding from Oxford Uni.

A 40% shortfall in funding threatens the continuation of the Oxford Hub’s projects. The cut is caused by the Vice-Chancellor’s office withdrawing funds used to cover the core costs of the charity.

Makena Löhr, President of the Oxford Hub, has confirmed the severity of the issue, telling VERSA: “We can’t operate without the core University support which has been cut.” This support came from funds with a time-limitation of three years, which the Hub has now exhausted.

Löhr explained: “The Vice-Chancellor’s office has been unable to offer opportunities for funding elsewhere.” This is a serious problem because, although the Hub does receive funding from other sources, these cover project costs for the most part and do not contribute to the charity’s core costs.

The Hub relies on this core funding to put on events to encourage student involvement and to provide a range of services to projects, including publicity and materials for activities.

Where will the Hub be in one year…

A University representative said funds initially provided were “strictly time limited.” “We also have to prioritise other areas of student support which have recently been subject to significant funding cuts,” they said.

In discussions with the Hub, the University made clear the “opportunity for them to work closely with other areas, including the Careers Service and OUSU, to identify how a collaborative approach might reduce costs,” the representative revealed.

Students have emphasised the importance of the Hub to student volunteering. Caitlin Farrar, 3rd year St. John’s student, relied on their support when she was the student co-ordinator of FELLOW (Free English Language Lessons for Overseas Workers). “The Hub was very useful in terms of offering a space for meetings and providing training sessions, as well as assisting with the charity’s banking,” she said. “It helped with organising Freshers’ Fair events and offered a lot of support in running a charity in general. It would be a real shame to lose such a resource.”

The charity, which received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2014, currently supports around 50 student-led projects and 50 member groups of its wider ethical network. In an attempt to secure the continuation of their work, the Hub has started a petition to call upon the University to review the cuts.

Andrew Hamilton, the Oxford VC, was already having popularity issues…

 

Photo/ San José Library (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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