A survey by the National Union of Students (NUS) reveals shocking statistics about the cost of living crisis, and how it is affecting students across the country.
More than one in 10 students are using food banks because they cannot make ends meet, according to a poll of over 3,500 university students. One in five say they are unable to buy toiletries, and one in 10 cannot purchase sanitary products when they need them.
An NUS spokesperson said: ‘Huge increases in the price of bills, food and living costs coupled with soaring rent has students on the brink…We’re seeing stress and anxiety piling on them from bouncing debt between different cards to stay afloat.
‘Despite all of this, students are being completely ignored by the government. These findings are bleak; we’re knee-deep in a cost of learning crisis that will affect the poorest students the hardest.’
Struggling to make ends meet
The survey also revealed that one third of students are living on less than £50 a month after rent and bills are paid.
Meanwhile, four in 10 say they cannot get onto campus due to travel expenses, and 41% say they are neglecting their health in order to save money, tossing things such as dental appointments to the side out of necessity.
According to the NUS, 93% of students have said the cost of living crisis is affecting their mental health, which is why they are ‘calling for a tailored student cost of living support package.’
NUS has called on governments across the UK to raise the student maintenance package and apprentice minimum wage, in line with the Living Wage.
Simply not good enough
Seth Nobes, a recent graduate, told Freshered that these statistics are ‘disgraceful.’
‘The government evidently isn’t doing enough to assist families to the point where a university student who is granted a loan has to use food banks,’ he said.
‘It may be the case their loan has to be spent on their family which means they miss out on the uni experience and have to watch as students sitting next to them in seminars are blowing money like there’s no tomorrow. University is a difficult experience for a number of reasons at the best of times, let alone having to struggle financially and going hungry.’