Government Changes Will Significantly Impact Future University Students
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Government Changes Will Significantly Impact Future University Students

Cicely McFarlane March 9, 2022

Students have always faced the issue of financial stress when it comes to attending university. Life for a student is restricted by the idea of living on a strict budget. Financial cost includes taking out a student loan to pay for your specific course, rent, cost of living, as well as extras for sports societies and nights out.

What is Actually Changing?

It was recently announced that students who join university from September 2023 will be predicted to still be paying off their student debt in their 60s. The government has made this decision to extend the repayment period to reduce bills for the taxpayer.

The government also stated changes will be made surrounding the cost of university courses. This included the maximum charge per course being frozen at £9,250 for a further two years. This is accompanied by the level of pay required to start repaying your student loan dropping from £27,295 to £25,000 until 2026-2027.

These changes have been proposed and implemented by the government due to the high levels of students who are going to university today.

Only 25% of these predicted students are set to repay the loan in full. This is now estimated to cause the government an unpaid student loan debt of £500 billion by 2043.

Insight from Academics

The Chief Executive of NCUB Dr. Joe Marshall is highly concerned with these new and soon-to-be-implemented changes to the university education financial situation. He argues it to be ‘completely contradictory to the government’s central plans to grow our knowledge economy and level up… the skills learned at university are the skills needed at work’.

He goes on to make a very astute observation stating how ‘these measures announced…are too blunt and risk-limiting opportunities for individuals and employers’.

This is one of the biggest detrimental factors of this new policy, as it may result in those who are less financially comfortable from even attending university at all. In turn this would create a bubble of rich versus poor; once again reinforcing stereotypes and isolating people from certain job opportunities.

Student Opinion

As a student myself, if these new laws and legislation had occurred before my university life began, it would have been a real worry and concern whether to attend or not.

I cannot stress to those in this current position, how happy I am to have chosen to come to university. It was never a clear choice in my mind, as I thought wherever I would end up I could make something work. But choosing the university route allowed for me to flourish into the person that I am today.

The effect this current law will have in preventing or deterring, willingly or not, many people from having this same opportunity, saddens me greatly.

More must be done for the student’s voice to be heard on this matter. Get in touch with local MPs, and follow student-run sites to find out more on how this change could affect you and your future.

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Cicely McFarlane is a 23-year-old Graduate from Cardiff University. She has an undergraduate degree in History, and has just completed her master’s in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Whilst studying, she contributed to the Student Newspaper, as well as the student magazine named Quench. This fuelled her passion for writing further and enjoys reviews on the latest trends and TV shows, as well as commenting on important issues that occur today. She is a content writer for Freshered Magazine for over a year where she specifically tailors and creates articles for the Freshered audience. She is excited to grow as a journalist as she continues to expand her topics and horizons.