NUS Research Exposes Impact The Cost Of Living Crisis Has On Students
10 and 20 banknotes on white table
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

NUS Research Exposes Impact The Cost Of Living Crisis Has On Students

Rachael Grealish March 23, 2022

Ahead of the Chancellors Spring Statement, the NUS (National Union of Students) has released research exposing the impact of the cost of living crisis on students.

According to the NUS research, highlighting the financial difficulties students face, one in four students have less than £50 to live off a month.

Student Concerns With Money

With inflation on the rise students are becoming increasingly concerned about being able to manage financially. Over half (51 percent) of those with a student loan or a bursary do not believe it covers the costs of living.

Their research showed a quarter of students don’t have a job alongside their studies and despite this, 79 percent of students are worried about their ability to get by financially.

Sadly, their research showed one in four have less than £50 a month to live off after rent and energy bills, and, devastatingly, five percent of students are visiting food banks.

No Financial Support

This has forced students to seek financial support from different sources. 13 percent have used credit schemes such as Klarna and Clear Pay, whilst one in five have relied on credit cards to help them out. Just one in three students haven’t sought any financial assistance.

Zac Larkham, a second-year student from Sheffield Hallam University, commented students are not receiving enough support to actually help them with financial stresses.

‘Students are really struggling right now. We already pay high rents and have to work to top up maintenance loans but the little money we have is having to be stretched further and further,’ he said.

‘In 2018, 66 percent of students worried about having enough money to live on and it’s only gotten worse since then. We often talk about the mental health crisis in universities but one of the biggest sources of stress are financial problems and we are getting nowhere near enough support from anyone to lift that burden.’

‘Deeply Wrong’

In light of these statistics, the NUS is arguing that the Treasury must introduce a maintenance support system which will allow all learners to live in comfort and security whilst studying in further and higher education.

They say they should also announce rent protections for students who have seen average rents increase by 61 percent in the past decade, and reverse planned cuts to the student loan repayment threshold. 

Commenting ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, NUS UK President Larissa Kennedy said it was ‘deeply wrong’ so many students are struggling to even travel to university.

She said: ‘When you’re hearing from students who can’t afford to travel to their campus library, you know there is something deeply wrong. We know that thousands of students are already being forced to choose between heating and eating, and with this cost-of-living crisis only expected to get worse, the Government needs to act to support the most vulnerable.

‘This must include introduce rent protections, maintenance support and reverse planned cuts to the student loan repayment threshold.

‘As we saw at the national student strike earlier this month, students from across the UK are desperate for something radically different. But as well as applying sticking plasters on the current marketised system, the Government needs to see that their profit-driven model is broken. They need to finally commit to a new vision for education, which is fully funded and accessible for all.’

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.