The crisis that’s pushing students to the brink

Rising costs of living are giving way to an education crisis that will impact all of us for years to come.

The cost of living crisis is pushing students into poverty

Rent hikes. Rising food prices. Rocketing energy bills. The cost of living crisis is pushing people to the brink. 

And students are carrying a huge burden, with many barely having £50 a month to spend once their bills are paid. With the national poverty line at £141 a month after housing costs, what’s happening to students is a crisis in the making.

Students are our future teachers, doctors, nurses. What we do now matters.

The National Union of Students is fighting for a free, liberated and accessible education for all. But when students cannot afford the catering outlets and shop prices, they don’t eat.

When students cannot afford textbooks and learning materials, they are priced out of success. When students cannot afford university housing, they become homeless. When students cannot afford travel services, they become isolated.

How the crisis is affecting students

Our Cost of Living study in 2022 revealed that:

  • ⅓ of students are left with just £50 a month after rent and bills
  • 96% of students across the UK are cutting back on spending
  • 68% of students can’t afford course materials
  • 92% of students report that the crisis is impacting their mental health

Behind the numbers

Students are already on tight budgets, taking on more and more debt to stay afloat. Despite UK inflation running at 11.1%, maintenance loans have increased a scant 2.3%, barely covering the gap in living costs.

The crisis impacts a significant swathe of students from across the country, but it’s felt the most in the most disadvantaged groups - young people who often face significant barriers just to get to university. The cost of simply existing within the further education space is too high.

Students are being priced out of their education – and we’ll feel the impact for years to come.

The UK government has introduced cost-of-living support packages for households. But students aren’t eligible, and now they risk falling through the cracks.

Don’t leave young people behind

We’re asking the government to:

  1. Create a tailored cost-of-living support package
  2. Increase the student maintenance package and apprentice minimum wage in line with the Living Wage

Don’t leave students out in the cold. Take action now:

Will you sign?