Students begin university facing £8,000 student finance shortfall

Friday 30-09-2011 - 00:00


New analysis by the National Union of Students (NUS) has revealed that for the average student outside London the gap between Government provided student support and the cost of being a student has increased to £8,037 for the 2011/12 academic year. The rise of 10% from the 2010/11 shortfall of £7,310 demonstrates the need for the Government to increase the amount of support available to students while they study.

The average cost of being a student outside of London for the 2011/12 academic year is £16,279 with an average income from Government funded loans and grants being £8,242. For those living and studying in London the cost is £17,428, with a potential income of £9,880. This shortfall of £7,548 represents an increase of 11% on 2010/11

The move comes as NUS launch a new Student Financial Support Commission to perform an in depth analysis of the costs faced by students, the support measures available and find out if the right people are getting the help they need.

The commission which is being convened by NUS President, Liam Burns and NUS Vice-President (Welfare), Pete Mercer is made up of eight serving student officers and will be supported by five other experts in student finance and will issue calls for evidence. The group will convene for the first time on 17 October 2011.

Commenting on the shortfall in student support, Liam Burns, NUS President said:

“Not enough of the student support in the higher education system is getting in to the pockets of students and there is a real danger that the situation is getting worse.”

“There has been shocking leap in the gap between Government funding and the cost of being a student. The kinds of wages available to young people at the moment mean that many students without family support would have to work virtually full-time jobs or take on huge commercial debt whilst they study.

About Student Financial Support Commission, Liam Burns said:

“It is important that we get a full picture of where the failings are. Of course tuition fees are a major disincentive for many students but it is the support funds available at university that define its affordability and whether or not many can last the course.

“When this commission reports we will have some clear recommendations for the Government that they must listen to if we are to avoid rising numbers of students being unable to afford to study.”




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