The University and John Smith’s have set up a joint scheme to help you make the very best of your time at the University by improving access to the learning tools you need to support your studies. You can use your bursary funds in the bookshop (or online) to help with the purchase of your required textbooks and learning materials.

Q. Who is eligible for an Aspire award?

All first year, full time, home students paying full fees are eligible for the £300 bursary Welcome Package.

Nursing & Midwifery students are eligible for 17/18.

Q. What is it worth?

The Welcome Package is worth £300.

Q. How do I register for it?

As soon as you have got your University of Bedfordshire student ID card, visit us at registration on the Luton or Bedford campuses or visit us at the John Smith’s student store in the Mall in Luton to collect your Aspire card.

Q. When can I access my award?

As soon as you register with us your bursary funds will be available.

Q. What can I spend my Aspire funds on?

You can spend your bursary funds on books, stationery, art supplies, digital products and other learning materials.

Q. Where can I spend my Aspire funds?

You can spend your award online here or in the John Smith’s book shop in the Mall any time. We will also have a pop up shop on the Bedford campus at the start of term.

Q. Is this a loan? Do I have to pay it back?

Your Aspire bursary is not a loan and you do not have to pay it back. The funds are provided for you by the university to help with the extra costs associated with studying. It does not add to your student debt.

Q. What happens if I don’t spend my bursary by the end of the academic year?

Your bursary will be available to you throughout your studies but you must spend all of your funds by the end of your final year as they will not be available to you after graduation.

Q. How secure are my Aspire funds?

John Smith’s has put in place a number of measures to ensure that each student’s Aspire funds are securely protected, so please also note that:

  • No actual funds are held on the card so the loss/theft of a card does not mean that funds are accessible to a 3rd party without the account access protection codes
  • Any physical usage of the account instore requires the use of an access authentication - i e. PIN number - plus identification by means of the student ID card
  • For online transactions (if required), a password is created by the student and access to the funds is not possible without this password
  • Additionally, the John Smith’s systems have the ability to put an immediate stop on an account as soon as we are notified that there is any suspicion of loss/theft/fraud
  • If a card is lost or stolen, then accounts can be frozen until such time as the student attends the bookshop and collects a replacement card, thus preventing any further activity, either in person or online, on the account until the issue is resolved
  • John Smith’s will charge a nominal fee of £5 for any replacement card

Q. Who are John Smith’s?

John Smith’s is the UK’s leading specialist academic bookseller, with extensive and unrivalled experience in campus bookselling. This year we were again awarded the title 'Academic and Professional Chain Bookseller of the Year’.

John Smith’s has opened a student store, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, in the Luton Mall shopping centre.

Q. Where are we?

John Smith’s Bookshop
Unit 7/9, The Mall
Telephone: 01582 457174
Email us

Q. When are we open?

Open 6 days a week:
Mon 9.00am - 5.30pm
Tues 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wed 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thurs 9.00am - 5.30pm
Fri 9.00am - 5.30pm
Sat 9.00am - 5.30pm

Q. Where should I go if I have more questions?

For all queries about your Aspire account or specific products please email us

For queries about eligibility, please contact the University of Bedfordshire student finance office.

Shop telephone: 01582 457174


Your Beds Money can be used towards the purchase of books, stationery, electronics and many other learning materials from the John Smith's Student Store in the Luton Mall, or online on this website.