A photo of a student protest with people carrying placards reading "free education now, tax the rich"

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called for the government to act on the cost of living crisis for students, following the publication of the results of an annual survey. Save the Student releases figures each year in its annual student money survey.

This year, Save the Student found that average monthly living costs for students have risen by 17 per cent since 2022. The report comes off the back of a UK-wide survey of students, which had shocking findings.

The survey found that 18 per cent of students have used a food bank in the last academic year and 64 per cent of students have skipped meals to save money.

Students also reported that the cost of living crisis has had a detrimental impact on their studies and health. 30 per cent report their grades are suffering, 33 per cent said they have disrupted sleep and 55 per cent report having poor mental health.​

NUS UK Vice President for Higher Education, Chloe Field, said: “I am sick and tired of being here again. Report after report, data set after data set, and each paints a picture worse than those that came before. Yet the Government refuses to act, while no major political party is offering anything to students and young people.

“Students are the nurses, doctors, teachers and public sector workers of the future. We are the scientists and engineers who will make breakthroughs that transform society, and solve our most pressing issues, such as the climate crisis. Yet all too many are having our futures blighted by poverty and hardship that risks their potential.

Field went on to call for a range of measures to be introduced to tackle these issues. She said: “We urgently need a complete overhaul of our failed HE system. Immediately, maintenance loans must be brought into line with inflation, and a rent freeze and rent controls are needed. Going forward, we need a return to grants instead of loans and an abolition of tuition fees.”

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Image credit: Socialist Appeal – Creative Commons