“We’ve tried to make Blackbullion part of everything we do, especially for the hardships. In order to receive the Hardship Fund, students have to complete and get 100% in several modules.”

“It was great to see only one student applying for money to go home for Christmas! Previously they were tens of students doing it. This really shows the impact of financial education.”

“For us it’s all been about exposing ourselves to a wider range of students, not just letting them come to us —and we’ve used Blackbullion in order to do that.”

Developing a scalable approach to institution-wide financial capability scheme.

With Danielle Coe, Head of Student Finance.

The Challenge

The University of Hertfordshire has taken the challenge of increasing the financial capability of its students. By making an effort to ensure students are better educated about spending habits the university aims to prepare them to thrive in the real world and achieve a decline in the hardship fund applications.

With a small team and a scarce budget as limiting factors, they were looking for a solution that would allow the team to not only distribute funds to those in need but also make significant impact across the entire institution.


• Reduce hardship fund applications
• Educate students about better spending habits
• Take pressure of over-stretched staff


The University of Hertfordshire invested in Blackbullion to amplify the team’s efforts to proactively reach out to a wider segment of students. The aim being to help students in avoiding preventable financial problems in the future.

For the University of Hertfordshire, Blackbullion has become a central part of the student support operation. The platform has been integrated within Open Days, hardship funds, budgeting workshops, and used to raise awareness of financial skills.. Due to this approach the university has seen a decline in the number of people applying for hardship funds.

In addition, The University of Hertfordshire is regularly involved in quantitative research to understand student needs and challenges when it comes to financial management. They believe in employing the principle of ‘Give a (wo)man a fish […], show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ philosophy. The combined efforts of the team, and integration of Blackbullion demonstrates that a scalable impact can be achieved with the right structure and tools.

Overview of Client


Hertfordshire, United Kingdom



Mission Group:

Post 92

Team Size:

6 (plus interns)

Student Funding and Financial Support Team

• Deal with Student Loans company end-to-end
• Bursaries
• Scholarships
• Hardship Fund
• US/Canadian Loans

Related case studies

York St John University

Impact of Hardship Fund Integration with Blackbullion

Sheffield Hallam University

Cross-departmental collaboration aiming to improve student success