As we move towards the new academic year, we recognise the huge impact of the cost of living crisis on our students, and across the country. Here's what we're doing to support you.
As we move towards the new academic year, we at Warwick SU recognise the huge impact of the cost of living crisis on our students, and across the country. Given this, we felt that it was important for students to know what we are doing to support them through these difficult times.
Research produced by the National Union of Students in June found that almost a third of students have less than £50 left after paying their rent and utilities, with 83% already seeking financial support beyond their maintenance loans. 90% feel that the crisis is having an impact on their mental health, and students are having to cut back on socialising, transport, food, heating and more. We note that this crisis is an intensification of pre-existing cost pressures facing students (experienced particularly acutely by marginalised groups), due to rising rental costs and high tuition fees, which are even higher for international students.
As your Students’ Union, we are here for you and can assure you that we’re working hard to find ways to respond to the crisis. We are working closely with the University to explore ways to minimise course and transport costs, as well as ways in which we can use the campus to alleviate the costs students face from heating and water bills. We are lobbying the University for changes: e.g., an increase in the size and accessibility of the hardship fund, and more support for self-funded PGR students. Internally, we are also exploring the possibility of running a foodbank-style arrangement or second-hand shops to expand students’ access to low or no-cost goods, as well as educational resources to provide guidance for students on ways to navigate the crisis.
However, with all this, we recognise that the crisis facing students stems from the underfunding of our education system, and therefore what will help students most is direct assistance from the Government. So, we are also working alongside the student movement across the country to campaign for a tailored support package from the Government, which we believe would be the most impactful support measure for students now.
We will continue to keep you updated as our work progresses on all the above.
Please visit the University's cost of living support page for some useful resources, and if you need any advice around money, please contact the SU Advice Centre.