There is a rising accommodation crisis that the students in the United Kingdom are facing. According to a report released by Unipol, the student housing charity and HEPI (Higher Education Policy Institute) there has been a disproportionate increase in inflation in the country in relation to the maintenance loans. Shockingly, an average student is only left with £24 for other expenses after paying out their rents from the maintenance loans.
According to the report, the average student rents have increased by 14.6% while the average maintenance loan amounts have increased only by 5.2%. This means that currently, the average student is paying a rent of £7,566 in a calendar year while only receiving £7,590 in maintenance loans, leaving only £24 for other expenses. Most students those avail the loans are also having to take up part-time jobs to supplement their income while maintaining their academic responsibilities.
It is also important to remember that only students coming from households with less than £25,000in income are eligible for this loan while the increase in rents is affecting everyone. The chief executive of Unipol as well as the National Union of Students (NUS) both believe that the average maintenance loans should be revised and adjusted for inflation to aid the students.
Unipol’s Chief executive, Martin Blakey stated, “The student maintenance system is broken.”
The director of HEPI, Nick Hillman also commented on the situation stating, “Across most of the UK, the official levels of maintenance support simply do not cover anything like most students’ actual living costs.”
They highlight the fact that this affects the access to educational resources for a segment of the students as well, creating further disparity between the economically strong and the economically weaker.