From education to employment

NUS demands action on student cost-of-living crisis

students stood around on campus

NUS is demanding action after not one, but TWO new reports were published which reveal the shocking toll the cost-of-living crisis is continuing to have on students.

Furthermore, NUS knows of a THIRD report which will be published imminently.

The Office for National Statistics and Save The Student have both published data revealing the stark reality of student misery.

Save The Student’s UK-wide survey of over 1,700 students found:

  • Average monthly living costs have risen by 17% since 2022.
  • Below-inflation increases in the Maintenance Loan mean it falls short of living costs by an average of £582 per month, up from £439 per month in 2022.
  • 18% of students surveyed used a food bank in the last academic year, up from 10% in 2022.
  • 64% skip meals at least some of the time to save money
  • 21% received hardship funding, double the proportion of last year’s survey.

All this has predictably had an impact on students’ health:

  • 30% report their grades are suffering.
  • 38% report an impact on their relationships.
  • 33% report disrupted sleep.
  • 49% report an impact on their diet.
  • 55% report poor mental health.

NUS UK Vice President for Higher Education, Chloe Field, said:

I am sick and tired of being here again. Report after report, data set after data set, and each paints a picture worse than those that came before. Yet the Government refuses to act, while no major political party is offering anything to students and young people. Students are the nurses, doctors, teachers and public sector workers of the future. We are the scientists and engineers who will make breakthroughs that transform society, and solve our most pressing issues, such as the climate crisis. Yet all too many are having our futures blighted by poverty and hardship that risks their potential. We urgently need a complete overhaul of our failed HE system. Immediately, maintenance loans must be brought into line with inflation, and a rent freeze and rent controls are needed. Going forward, we need a return to grants instead of loans and an abolition of tuition fees. 

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