KIND-HEARTED donors have raised more than £100,000 to support vulnerable students at Essex University during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The university has seen a sharp spike in applications for financial support from students and launched an appeal calling for donations to help the most vulnerable students.

So far 242 donors have pledged a total of more than £100,000 to support students in just two weeks.

The donations have come from alumni, friends of the university and staff.

As a result more than 150 students have successfully applied for funding from the university’s hardship fund.

The fund exists to support students with unexpected, short-term financial difficulty to help them to continue with their studies.

For the first time it has also been opened up for international and EU students.

Over the past five weeks, the fund has seen a substantial increase in applications, above the total number received during the whole of 2019.

Director of advancement Jo Rogers said: “We’re so thankful to the alumni, colleagues and friends of the university who have made a pledge to the hardship fund.

“The hardship fund is now accessible to all students and thanks to the generosity of our amazing community we can now help even more students who are in need at this time.”