Almost half of students are living off less than £100 a month, and a quarter just £50

Meanwhile the government’s new budget doesn’t mention anything for students

Almost half of UK university students are living off £100 or less a month after paying rent and bills, and over a quarter only have £50 or less left.

An NUS survey has found that 90 per cent of students believe the cost of living crisis is having an impact on their mental health, speaking of feeling anxious and depressed, having issues with sleeping, and are worried about how they will be able to feed themselves.

Meanwhile, the government’s new budget, announced yesterday, doesn’t mention any new policies for students or universities whatsoever.

The NUS survey found that only seven per cent of students believe the government is doing enough to help students during the cost of living crisis.

Over 60 per cent do not think their student loan or bursary covers the cost of their energy bills, and almost 70 per cent do not think it covers the cost of living comfortably.

Almost 70 per cent have seen their housing costs, including rent and bills, increase this year – and over half of students report this increasing by over £20 per week.

Only five per cent of students said they are not at all concerned that they will be able to manage financially – less than just a few months ago in June this year.

Three quarters of students have cut back on socialising to save money, and many have stopped spending on clothes, food, heating and even sanitary products.

Seven per cent have sought help from food banks, whilst almost a quarter have turned to credit cards and 16 per cent have use credit schemes like Klarna and Clear Pay.

One student said they’re not eating as they can’t afford it, which is leaving them “depressed tired and exhausted”. Another said: “I’m stressed about making ends meet, there is no ‘nice’ element of life anymore, it is simply about eating pasta everyday, walking everywhere by foot and saying no to social events or holidays because it is simply out of reach.”

Almost a fifth believe universities are doing enough to help students during the cost of living crisis. Manchester University is giving students a one-off cost of living payment of £170, and many unis are giving eligible students additional cost of living payments, including Queen’s Belfast and York. Unis including Exeter and Edinburgh are offering highly subsidised hot meals on campus.

The government’s new budget was announced yesterday – and surprise, it doesn’t mention any new policies at all for students or universities. The word “university” or “universities” is in there three times, and it is only in the context of mentioning that the UK has “globally recognised” unis.

Meanwhile the word “student” or “students” is in there five times – but only once in the Policy Decisions section, and that is merely to mention “additional costs associated with extending student finance eligibility to individuals on Ukraine visa routes”, which has already been announced and began in August.

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