UK Universities could see rise in dropouts due to cost of living crisis, chief executive admits

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The rise in inflation and accommodation costs is leading to more students dropping out of further education, Universities UK have revealed

The UK could experience a wave of university students dropping out as the cost of living crisis continues into 2022. That’s the belief of Universities UK chief executive Vivienne Stern, who says the pressures of gaining extra employment to live in University areas is leading to many quitting their studies to focus on making money to survive.

Speaking to The Independent, Stern said: “I think that what we’re really worried about is I’ve heard from lots of people in universities that their students are taking on perhaps more work, paid work, than would be ideal.

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“So less time to study, more time working and, in the end, that might have the effect that they’re not able to succeed in their course and again lead to the risk of them dropping out.”

Many Universities across the country are already supporting students during the cost of living crisis, with the University of York offering energy grants of up to £150 and the University of Manchester opening up a Student Support Fund for those attending the institute requiring help covering food costs and any other issues arising from financial hardship.

“Even though we know that the Government is under extraordinary pressure, we hope they will pay particular attention to the needs of students who might otherwise find themselves dropping out of university instead of completing their courses.”.

In response to Stern’s remarks, The Department for Education said: “We recognise the financial challenges students face with the rise in global inflation. That is why we have continued to increase the amount students can access through loans and grants for living and other costs every year. Many universities are also doing fantastic work to support their students through a variety of programmes and we urge any student who is worried about their circumstances to speak to their university.”

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