Students in England drop out amid the cost of living crisis

To help with the cost of living, the students from Wales will get £1,000 compared to those living in England receiving £200 on average due to inflation forcing them to drop out of the university as per the Labour MPs.

While the Westminster government announced a raise of 2.8% for the students in England for their next academic year as the average maintenance loan increased by £200, the Welsh government has increased the same by 9.4% which is £10,710 to £11,720 on average from September.

Leading a group of 40 Labour MPs and Peers, Mary Kelly Foy, an MP for the city of Durham in a written letter addressing the educational secretary, Gillian Keegan, to increase the maintenance loan to an estimated £1,500 per student.

“The failure to ensure maintenance loans in England keep pace with inflation risks causing an exodus of lower- and middle-income students from the university if they cannot rely on the ‘Bank of Mam and Dad’ to make up the difference,” Foy addressed.

“University is a proven catalyst for social mobility and should allow people from any background to realize their aspirations. Yet with student rents reaching as much as £200 per week in my constituency, students are struggling to keep afloat despite many working part-time to boost their incomes.”

The Welsh minister for education, Jeremy Miles, conveyed: “Living costs should never be a barrier to studying at university. Despite continuing budget pressures, I have ensured that the value of support is increased accordingly at this time of exceptional cost-of-living pressures.”

President of the National Union of Students Wales, Orla Tarn, in excitement stated that they were ecstatic that the Welsh government had taken steps that “deviate from the pitiful 2.8% rise” as proposed by England.

“Many students in Wales are not from Wales and still rely on the maintenance support offered by the other UK nations, which should follow Wales’ lead as soon as possible,” Tarn continued.

The range of the maintenance loan varies from household income and location from £3,400 to £12,600 in England. To live away from home outside of London, just a third of students are eligible for the maximum assistance, which is approximately £9,700. The average maintenance loan in 2020–21, according to research by the House of Commons library, was roughly £7,000 annually.

The joint letter to Keegan conveyed: “We urge the government to think again, and review the decision on uprating maintenance loans to fully reflect the genuine cost of living for students.”

As per the latest survey conducted by TechnologyOne, a software provider for higher education revealed that the cost of living of more than a third of students was the primary reason for students to drop out of their courses as many found it to be challenging to spend on heating and basic groceries.

England’s minister for higher education, Robert Halfon, supporting the 2.8% increase addressed: “We recognize students continue to face financial challenges, which is why we are increasing loans and grants for living and other costs for a further year.”

An extra £15m is to be distributed to university hardship funds by the Department for Education.

- Published By Team Timeswire

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