More help is needed to support students with cost of living

07 March 2023

The cost-of-living crisis is severely affecting students. It is impacting on their mental health and increasing the risk that they will not complete their studies. If students drop out because of financial pressures, it will damage their futures and the pipeline of skilled workers needed in the UK’s businesses and public services.

Russell Group universities are investing tens of millions of pounds in additional hardship funding to support students, but wider support from Government is needed. Ahead of the 2023/24 academic year we are asking Government to:

  1. Uplift student maintenance loans, so they reflect actual inflation since 2020/21.
  2. Review parental earnings thresholds so more of the most disadvantaged students are eligible for the maximum level of support.
  3. Increase levels of central hardship funding.

Providing this additional financial support would be a sound investment by Government as more students will likely finish their studies, enter the workforce, pay back their student loans and contribute positively to the economy. A single cohort of UK-domiciled students at Russell Group universities is estimated to contribute more than £20 billion to the economy over the course of their working lives, including £11 billion in tax and NI contributions.

In the longer term, we recommend the Government addresses flaws in the maintenance loans system to protect students against sudden increases in inflation. The Government should also consider reintroducing maintenance grants to support the most disadvantaged students and ensure they do not graduate with the highest debt.

Read our full response below to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students inquiry into the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on students.

RG response to APPG for Students inquiry into the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on students


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