Almost a third of students skipping lectures to save money during cost of living crisis

Students are travelling into uni less and trying to attend lectures remotely

Almost a third of university students are skipping non-compulsory lectures or tutorials to save money during the cost of living crisis.

A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also found that over three quarters of students are concerned about how the rising cost of living could affect how well they do at uni, and almost half of all students said their mental health and wellbeing has worsened since the start of this uni year – just two months ago.

40 per cent of students are studying at home more to save money, with over a quarter travelling less to uni and over a fifth attending lectures remotely where possible.

91 per cent of students said they are worried about the rising cost of living, and a quarter of students have taken on debt because of rising costs. Of these who have taken on debt, two thirds said they did so because their student loan was not enough to support living costs.

The majority of students – almost three quarters – said they have not applied for any financial assistance from their uni, with 26 per cent applying for bursaries, uni hardship funds, or other support payments.

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.

Students who reported financial difficulties had significantly worse scores on all well-being measures than those who are comfortably well off or managing well enough. 45 per cent of all students said their mental health has gotten worse since the start of this term. Compared with previous academic years, this is significantly higher than this time in 2021, but still significantly lower than November 2020, when the country was in lockdown.

Students have a significantly lower life satisfaction than the general population of British adults, and reported higher anxiety (however, there was “no significant difference” in anxiety levels compared with people aged 16-29 in Great Britain). Nearly a fifth of students said they feel lonely often or always – again, higher than the general adult population but no real difference to young people in general.

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