More than one in 10 students are being forced to turn to food banks as they struggle to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis, according to a survey by the National Union of Students (NUS).
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The poll of more than 3,500 university students found that 11% are using food banks, up from 5% in January. 96% said they are cutting back on spending due to soaring prices and bills.
One in five students said they could not buy toiletries, and one in 10 cannot purchase sanitary products when required.
It was reported last month that there had been a 3,000% increase in the number of graduates who owe more than £100,000 in student loans.
The NUS calls on the government to take urgent action to address the cost of living crisis facing students. This includes increasing funding for grants and bursaries and introducing a national living wage for all workers under 25.
Commenting on the findings, NUS president Shakira Martin said: \”No student should be going hungry or without essentials because they simply cannot afford them.\”
\”The government is failing in its duty to provide adequate financial support for students,\” she added. \”It\’s time for a radical rethink of how we fund higher education so that no one is priced out of getting a degree.\”
The findings of the NUS survey come as the government is facing increasing pressure to scrap plans to raise university tuition fees in England to £9,250 a year. A recent poll by YouGov found that 62% of people believe the current level of prices – £9,000 a year – is too high.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said the findings of the NUS survey are \”a damning indictment\” of the government\’s record on supporting students.
\”This Tory government has driven up costs and left young people facing a future of debt,\” she said. \”Labour will make different choices, introducing free further education for all adults and scrapping tuition fees so that no one is put off going to university because of the costs.\”
What do you think of the findings of the NUS survey? Let us know in the comments below.
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