The government have announced a variety of financial measures to help students who are struggling amid the cost of living crisis. This includes support with living costs and a freeze on tuition fees
The government has confirmed that it will provide an additional £15million in funding this financial year to enable universities to support students who need it most.
Many institutions already have hardship funds in place and this additional pledge will give them a much-needed boost. For example, the University of Southampton has made £1.1million available to students to help cover emergency costs, while the University of York pays £150 to student households who are struggling to pay their bills.
In a further step to help students tackle the rising cost of living, the government will increase the amount students receive in maintenance loans by 2.8% in the 2023/24 academic year.
A freeze in tuition fees completes this financial package. Fees for a standard full-time course in both the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years in England will remain at a maximum of £9,250.
Robert Halfon, minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education said, 'we recognise students continue to face financial challenges, which is why we are increasing loans and grants for living costs. For the sixth year in a row we've also frozen tuition fees for a full-time undergraduate course, which will reduce the initial amount of debt that a student takes on.
'To support universities to top up their own hardship funds we are making an additional £15million available. This will bring the total available to universities to draw on in supporting their students in hardship to £276million this academic year.'
However, some student organisations feel that the government measures don't go far enough to help those in financial difficulty.
Save the Student reveals that the 2.8% rise in maintenance loan falls far below current inflation rates, which are above 10% and that with two million undergraduate students in the UK, the £15million hardship investment from the government equates to less than £8 per person.
'The 2023/24 Maintenance Loan rates are a devastating blow to struggling students, who will now see their battle with the cost of living crisis intensify next year,' says Tom Allingham, Save the Student’s money expert.
'Our 2022 National Student Money Survey found that the shortfall between the average maintenance loan and the average cost of living is now a staggering £439 every month.
'We're calling on Robert Halfon, minister for higher education, to urgently review this decision and increase maintenance funding above and beyond the rate of inflation to account for years of insufficient growth,' adds Tom.
Find out more
- Discover how to save money as a student.
- Read up on managing student stress.
- Learn more about postgraduate funding.
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