NUS Cost of Survival Report Launch
NUS Scotland has today (Wednesday, 22 February 2023) launched a report at an online event on the findings of their big student survey into the cost of living for students across Scotland.
The survey of over 5,300 college and university covered a wide range of issues including homelessness, housing, student finances, and mental health and wellbeing.
The findings of the Cost of Survival Report show that student poverty is more widespread than was previously thought with 37% of students having considered dropping out for financial reasons, 52% having skipped a meal because of lack of money, and 35% had been unable to pay their rent in full.
Lydia Rohmer is the Principal Designate, UHI North, West and Hebrides, and a joint Lead Principal for poverty with Colleges Scotland. She said: “The figures published today are incredibly stark. I know as a college Principal many of our students are really struggling with the cost of living, which is closely linked to poor mental health, stress and anxiety.
“Choosing college is a route out of poverty, but students have to be able to afford to come to class and complete their course so that they can move into good careers.
“Many colleges are using their own budgets to provide free breakfast or soup to students alongside other mitigations like referral to foodbanks and money advice. However, college budgets are falling and student support is being cut in real terms as well, so there does need to be a much more sustainable way to help our students.
“Colleges would welcome a real debate about the impact of student poverty, especially around housing and energy costs. This research is an alarming insight into the day-to-day financial pressures students are facing.”
Read the Cost of Survival report on the NUS website.