Just all the awful decisions Liz Truss and her new cabinet have made for students

And it’s only been four weeks lol

Liz Truss is now PM after winning the vote by Tory members with 81,326 votes, just two per cent of the 3.4 million who watched Ekin-Su and Davide win Love Island. Since then her and the cabinet have made a lot of decisions that, as always, negatively affect students and young people.

The Conservative Party are hosting its annual conference in Birmingham this week amidst a lot of economic chaos. After promising  she was not for turning (like her fave Margaret Thatcher) she did actually announce the reversal in the cut in the top rate of tax. Unfortunately she couldn’t stop the chaos of a plummeting pound which meant  the Bank of England had to pay £65 billion to save people’s pensions.

Here is a rundown of some of the key info from the last few weeks and what it means for us.

1. The Home Secretary eyes crackdown after a massive increase in student visas

This story in the Daily Mail says that the Home Secretary Suella Braverman promised to look at low-quality colleges offering people a route to Britain through a student visa. Official figures say  as European students now need to apply for a visa, the figures for sponsored study visas have increased by 71 per cent to 485,000 compared to 2019.

She said at the conference “we have to look at some of the courses  people are doing in this country, some of the institutions – they’re not always good quality.” She went on to say there are “many benefits to migration” but increased migration “puts pressure on our services, on our housing and on our community relationships.”


2. Cracking down on Harry Potter courses

The Tories have been coming out with some crazy things at this conference, such as the skills and higher education minister Andrea Jenkyns promising to crack down on students doing courses in Harry Potter rather than construction. She also said  universities are feeding students “a diet of critical race theory, anti-British history and Social Marxism.” This is the same woman who beat Ed Balls in the 2015 General Election.


3. Rising mortgage costs

Because the mini budget spooked the financial markets, the BBC have said  major mortgage lenders are increasing the cost of home loans, with the average two-year fixed rate now close to 6 per cent. This will increase mortgage repayments and make it harder for young people to get on the property ladder. It will also affect students who are renting as more landlords may be forced to sell their properties or increase the rent.


4. Maintenance loans not keeping up with inflation

The rising cost of living means  there are higher costs for food, energy bills, rent, and other essentials. The number of undergraduates dropping out increased by a quarter this year. The figure has increased to 40,000 students permanently withdrawing according to figures by the Student Loans Company.

A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned  financial support for students isn’t keeping up with skyrocketing inflation which is at its highest level since the start of the tuition fees era.

Maintenance loans for students from England will rise by just 2.3 per cent over the next academic year, well below current forecasts for inflation to hit 12 per cent in the autumn.

Feature image of Liz Truss credited to Shag 7799 on Shutterstock and images of flames credited to Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash.

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