Student poverty at nearly 50%

Nearly half of Britain’s students struggle with their basic household needs, reveals a study by the National Union of Students (NUS)

The NUS Student Poverty Commission discovered that students have an average of £24.32 per week for food and £17.35 weekly for travel, leaving many students worried or unable to meet their financial commitments.

NUS President Shakira Martin states that student poverty is in a “desperate situation”. Martin, who created the Student Poverty Commission in August of this year, explained that it is the Commission’s role to examine and reveal the hardship students face.

While many students struggle with student debt, Martin explains that the increase on student rent is “forcing those at university to take out bigger loans”, thereby increasing student poverty.

“Save the Student” examined the effects poverty has on students. According to the organisation, 50 percent suffer from mental health issues and 34% see their grades affected.

67 % of students find other means of receiving income such as part time jobs, 71% seek parental support when they are facing financial crisis but some use gambling or sex work to cover costs. While 26% of students have no savings.

A survey by Save the Student’s survey revealed that an overwhelming number of students spent most of their money on rent rather than on food. This also impacts students’ diet as some have gone days without food to cover rising rent costs.

Glasgow, has been ranked the UK’s most expensive city for university students by the Royal Bank of Scotland Student Living Index, that looked at living costs and spending habits across Britain. Glasgow is ranked 35th and thereby last of all cities looked at in the UK, followed by London and St. Andrews which are 34th and 33rd on the list.

By David Hendry. Photo credit: Titi Farukuoye.