Series 3 Episode 4 – Cost of living support for students and staff and the bus travel deal

Lauren Sykes
Wednesday 2 August 2023

Delivering innovative solutions to supporting students and staff through the cost-of-living and energy crisis has been at the heart of University activity since summer 2022.

In this podcast, Quaestor and Factor, Derek Watson, Director of Eden Campus, Geoff Morris, and Director of Student Experience, Ros Claase, talk to host Professor Stephen Gethins about the range of initiatives in place to assist staff and students in these exceptionally challenging times.

Talking more about her role in the process Ros Claase said affordability challenges have always existed and are not unique to St Andrews or the University community, but this has been amplified with rising prices affecting accommodation, food, transport, and utility bills.

One of the unique ways of helping with travel costs was the creation of the bus travel deal, which gives a 75% discount on Stagecoach bus tickets to staff and students who are not eligible for free bus travel.

Derek Watson explains how the “game-changing” project came about pre-Covid during the relocation of 450 staff to Eden Campus and how making transport easy and affordable would be key. He then talks about the post-Covid cost of commuting which needed to be addressed and how the University worked with Stagecoach to tackle transport costs.

Geoff Morris explains more about the take-up of the discount deal and how feedback has provided evidence of how transformative the deal has been, especially for staff. He also talks about how an increase in bus travel has reduced congestion in the town and significantly cut the University’s carbon footprint and helped to tackle the climate emergency.

Listen to the podcast.

Watch the video on YouTube.

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