November 5th, 2023
Living in the UK at this moment is causing financial hardship for a large percentage of the public. This issue, exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak, is evident in the doubling or tripling of the cost of basic amenities nationwide. Finding affordable accommodation, whether renting or buying, has become nearly impossible, particularly in major cities like London and Manchester.
University students have been directly affected, and before delving into how, let's look at university finance over the last decade. While university appears more accessible, the increase in student loans, from £1000 to around £10,000 in most areas (or £13,000 in London) by 2023, hasn't kept pace with inflation. Loan calculations based on family income create challenges for those unable to secure family funding.
Even with a full-time course workload expecting 30-40 hours per week, students face financial challenges. Part-time or, in some cases, full-time jobs become necessary, impacting mental health and academic performance. Over 50% of UK students claim that the Cost of Living Crisis has directly affected their mental health, leading to reduced productivity and lower grades.
Renting has become a significant issue for both renters and landlords. Changes in laws have left landlords either selling properties or substantially increasing rents. Basic one-bedroom apartments in central areas like Manchester and London can reach £1500 per month, often excluding bills. The scarcity of available properties and high competition make it extremely challenging for students to find affordable accommodation.
While some argue students need to face the real world, the challenges they're confronting go beyond typical experiences. Young adults struggle with their first taste of adult life, facing hunger and overwork, all in pursuit of their dream jobs — a promise that can't be guaranteed.
The mental health of students is escalating into a significant issue, and the government needs to find ways to support those in need. Students shouldn't be left hungry and overworked in their pursuit of a promising future.
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