Saturday, July 20News For London

Rising cost-of-living disrupts students’ academic life

The continuous rise in living costs is affecting the lives of university students.

University of Westminster, Harrow campus/ PC: Emmanuelle Lemoine

Students have raised numerous concerns over inflation rates as living costs become burdensome for many. The crisis’s continual impact means that many students are forced to apply for part-time jobs during their studies.

University of Westminster students have expressed deep concern about the crisis and the impact that it has had on them. We spoke to two students who financially survive on scholarships and support from family members. Due to inflation, however, the support is no longer sufficient.

Charlotte, 21, a television student, is forced to do a 16-hour customer service job to raise extra money for transport and food. She told WestminsterWorld that part-time jobs have affected her and her friends’ studies as they can hardly concentrate.

“We work on weekends or on certain days, it’s hard to get work done.”

The high rate of inflation has impacted most university students, as many who would have preferred to work fewer hours are forced to accept more than they had planned. Their social lives have also been impacted as they have limited time.

Another student, who preferred to be identified as Helia, revealed that inflation had affected her mental health. She said: “I was mentally struggling so much and I haven’t been able to do my assignments well because that’s the thing on my mind right now.”

The financial weight has led almost 40,000 students in the UK to quit school and pay their fees in the last year. In 2022, 82 per cent have thought about dropping out of school. Even for those students that are still hanging on financially, money continues to be an issue.

For students that have taken out loans to support their school fees, another issue is presenting itself. The government has reduced the repayment threshold from £27,000 to £25,000. The allotted delay of repayment has gone from 30 to 40 years.

The repayment of student loans, however, is not possible for most students. One student studying BA Media studies said: “We know it’s there; at this point, we know we’re not going to pay it back; it’s just never going to happen because it’s going to be too much.”

“Most of us just think it’s going to get scratched in twenty five years. We understand that it’s always going to be with us.”

Edited by Tyler Nicholas and Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi