Its fair to say that there are many myths around students and the income they recieve. We thought we help signpost students to some key information which helps correct some of these myths associated with students.
We do encourage students struggling financially to approach the University's financial guidance team to see if they are eligible or if there is other funding available to them link can be found here.
The Government Furlough Scheme requires employers to be responsible for claiming through the Job Retention Scheme on an employees behalf; a student cannot apply for the scheme themselves. More details can be found here.
Some employers may have ceased trading due to business pressures before they were able to access the scheme.
Some employers have also decided to make redundancies despite the scheme for reasons including that the jobs will not be there when the lockdown is lifted (this is a particular concern for those on fixed contracts that may have only covered term times) an example of such can be found here.
EU and non-EU International students do not have access to maintenance loans and therefore are reliant on savings and money from employment to cover living costs including rent.
Rent costs for some time have consistently risen above inflation and above the total maintenance loan amount.
The average rent in the UK increased by a third between 2012/13 and 2018/19.
In 2011/12 rents accounted for 58% of the maximum financial support allowed. In 2018/19 the figure is 73%. However fewer than half of students receive the full loan package leading to many having to take on more hours and work to make ends meet.
Average rent in the North East in 2018/19 was £141 per week and the average contract in 2018/19 in the UK was £5928 outside of London.
Using the minimum elsewhere rate of maintenance loan of £4168 rent payments would account for 142% of the UK average outside of London.
Student’s also have other financial pressures during this time including food and household essentials.
Unipol & NUS Accommodation Costs Survey can be viewed here.
NUS have responded to the accommodation survey here
Landlords have raised concerns over Mortgage Holidays:
Responses have included that these are to be used in exceptional circumstances only. We do consider a worldwide pandemic that has cost the lives of over 100,000 and done considerable damage to world economies rather exceptional.
Responses have also included the point that this does not waive mortgage costs but postpones them and adds interest. While this is true we encourage landlords to use them in conjunction with discussions with students to find solutions that benefit all parties wherever possible.
Some landlords have suggested that Universities should provide refunds for tuition:
Universities, whilst no longer operating in physical environments continue to provide their services with teaching and learning being delivered through a variety of digital means. For the vast majority of students, their tuition fee’s are paid by student loans.
A partial refund of the fee’s would not go to the student but would be a reduction in the loans owed by them - Students’ would not receive cash in hand.