One in seven university students are scared of being homeless by the start of next year
At the same time, some uni bosses want to raise tuition fees to £24k a year
One in seven university students fear they might become homeless within the next six months as students struggle to pay for their basic living costs such as rent, energy bills and their weekly food shop.
The survey of 1,000 uni students by Nationwide also found two-thirds of students are “struggling to afford to pay housing costs” or were behind on their rent.
Last week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned the poorest students will be £1,200 worse off this coming academic year as student loans fail to keep up with skyrocketing inflation.
The value of the maintenance loan, the government loan students receive to cover their living costs, will rise by 2.3 per cent this year. However inflation could peak as high as 13 per cent this coming autumn.
The IFS says the government’s attempts to offset the effects of inflation do “nothing at all” to protect students.
The Nationwide survey found that three quarters of students borrowed money from family members to help pay for necessities such as rent and food in the last year. Four in ten are also using their overdraft to help cover their living costs.
As university students struggle to keep up with the cost of living, university bosses want students to pay more tuition fees.
The Sunday Times reports that universities want to charge as much as £24,000 a year, the same as the average international student pays.
Vice-chancellor at the University of Sunderland, Sir David Bell, said: “You cannot expect to run universities on a fee level of £9,250 a year, which by 2025 will be worth around £6,000 in real terms because of inflation.”
“If you want to keep running universities even at the level we have now, you have to increase the tuition fee at some point.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “We have continued to increase support for living costs on an annual basis for students from the lowest-income households since the start of the pandemic, and they now have access to the largest ever amounts in cash terms.
“We also asked the Office for Students to protect the £256m available to support disadvantaged students and those in need for the current financial year – which is in addition to universities’ own hardship funds.”
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