Bath Spa students ‘hit from all angles’ in cost of living crisis

Bath Spa students ‘hit from all angles’ in cost of living crisis

Ellie O’Rourke a first year English literature student
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Ellie O’Rourke said money worries are causing her anxiety

Students are calling for more help as they feel “hit from all angles” during the cost of living crisis.

Several women at Bath Spa University have said government grants and loans do not go far enough.

They spoke as Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said students are being overlooked as costs rise.

A government spokesperson said it is supporting students by freezing tuition fees, while maintenance loans are being increased every year.

The spokesperson suggested struggling students should speak to their university to find out about other help they can access.

Drop-out fears

But first year English literature student Ellie O’Rourke said she had experienced anxiety over “not knowing if you are going to have enough money to be able to afford rent”.

“I had a job for two years before coming to university and I saved up quite a lot of money from that. I feel like it’s been blown away already,” she said.

A survey by the Student Loans Company showed university drop-out rates rose 28% by the fourth week of February compared with the previous year.

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Alice Tedds said drop-out rates will go up if more help is not forthcoming

Alice Tedds, vice-president of opportunities at Bath Spa University Students’ Union (BSUSU), said students “can’t afford to follow their hobbies and interests because of the costs”.

“If you can’t find where you belong, you can’t find your friends through clubs and societies and things, you end up dropping out. It’s a really tough situation,” she said.

The price of food in the UK rose by 14.6% in the year to September, leaving some people relying on foodbanks.

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Marianne Evans said students are “getting hit from all sides”

Marianne Evans, president of BSUSU, said students are “getting hit from all sides”.

“The food prices are increasing. A lot of them can’t afford the rent. They want to travel to university and they can’t.

“So it’s not just one thing that they are focusing on. They are just getting hit from all angles and it’s quite overwhelming for them,” she said.

Bath Spa University has put together a list of cost of living support options for students, which includes food larders, free sanitary products, short-term loans, cheaper hot meals and more.

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