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MPs Launch Cross-Party Inquiry into the Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Students

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students this week launched an inquiry to consider the impact of cost-of-living pressures on university students and the support provided by the sector and the Government.

This comes as the Government announce additional £15 (equivalent to £5.60 extra per student) million in university funding to help ease cost of living pressures, alongside a 2.8% increase in maintenance support in 2023/24.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said some students will be £1,500 a year worse off because of financial pressures.

The inquiry will take written evidence from students and students’ unions, as well as universities and colleges, accommodation providers and other stakeholders in preparing recommendations to Government and the HE sector.

The inquiry is being carries out in collaboration with the policy institute Curia, which in 2023 will be launching it’s Education Commission, following the success of last year’s Dyslexia Commission.

Alongside this inquiry, the APPG will be seeking submissions from further education students and colleges on the different issues faced by those studying in the FE sector.

The APPG for Students launches its inquiry into the financial position of students, following last week’s Government announcement of £15 million additional funding for universities to “support universities to top up their own hardship funds… stepping up efforts to support their students through a variety of programmes.” The inquiry will also consider how far other government support with energy prices has helped students.

 APPG for Students Chair Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, commented: 

“The Government has recognised the problem facing students as a result of the cost-of-living crisis with their announcement and universities have put in place various schemes of additional financial support. Our inquiry will aim to assess how far this provision is working in practice in providing the support needed by students in a very diverse sector.

We are particularly keen to hear from mature students, those with disabilities and others who face special needs. We will also be considering the position of students in all four nations of the UK, recognising the different support provided by devolved administrations during the pandemic.”

Final Thought

As inflation hits its highest level in 40 years, research has found that 96% of university students are making cutbacks, with over half spending less on food and heating their homes less, one in ten are cutting back on sanitary products and three quarters are socialising less to save money.

As an often forgotten group in national conversations about the cost-of-living crisis, this inquiry will provide vitally important information on the problems students are facing, and the help that they need.

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