Cost Of Living Crisis Could See A Rise In University Dropouts
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Cost Of Living Crisis Could See A Rise In University Dropouts

Jasmyne Jeffery January 3, 2023

Cash-strapped students turning to work may mark the rise of university dropouts. The pressure of having to make ends meet, due to the cost of living crisis, could result in more students ending their university careers early.

The struggle of the cost of living crisis could see a rise in the number of students dropping out of university. With maintenance loans that can’t keep up with rising inflation, students are already starting off on the wrong foot. Unable to find the balance between working to survive and completing their studies, Universities UK says it will be a “tragedy” if students are unable to complete their studies.

Rise In University Dropouts Due To Cost Of Living Crisis

To keep up with bills, travelling costs and more, students are working more and more, leaving less time for their studies.

Vivienne Stern of Universities UK, says that students are taking on more hours in their part-time jobs than what is recommended:

“I think that what we’re really worried about is I’ve heard from lots of people in universities that their students are taking on perhaps more work, paid work than would be ideal.”

Lots of students often have to take on part-time jobs during university. However, the concern is that a lot more students are turning to work due to the cost of living crisis. More time spent working means less time dedicated to studies, or rest. This will then mean that students are likely to perform less well, dropping out before they have a chance to fail.

A worried high school student looking at his test paper before starting during an exam. Courtesy of getty.

When asked if the data was showing these concerns, Stern replied: “That’s the worry. We don’t have figures yet.”

” I suspect we’ll see an increase in dropout rates. And it won’t just be new students, it’ll be students returning for second and third years who are making the hard decision to discontinue their course.”

A rise in university dropouts would be a tragic result of the cost of living crisis.

Universities Have Offered Students Support

Although there will not be much they can do to curb the rise in students dropping out, universities have been putting support in place.

Over the last few months, we have continually reported on the dozens of universities offering jobs, extra funding and free food to students struggling during the crisis.

NUS and others have been calling for the government to do more so that students do not suffer. Stern commented on the government’s commitment to students:

“Even though we know that the Government is under extraordinary pressure, we hope they will pay particular attention to the needs of students who might otherwise find themselves dropping out of university instead of completing their courses.”

Though the government has increased maintenance loans, they are not enough, on average, to cover rent in student accommodation.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.