Today I’m launching an inquiry with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for students, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers that I chair, to investigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on students and the support provided by the sector and the Government.
I’ll be working on the inquiry with APPG Vice-Chairs Lord David Willetts, Alison Thewliss MP, Alex Sobel MP, Robin Walker MP, Wera Hobhouse MP and Caroline Lucas MP.
This comes as the Government announce additional £15 (equivalent to £5.60 extra per student) million in university funding to help ease cost of living pressures, alongside a 2.8% increase in maintenance support in 2023/24.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said some students will be £1,500 a year worse off because of financial pressures.
The inquiry will take written evidence from students and students’ unions, as well as universities and colleges, accommodation providers and other stakeholders in preparing recommendations to Government and the HE sector.
Alongside this inquiry, the APPG will be seeking submissions from further education students and colleges on the different issues faced by those studying in the FE sector.
This is a deeply complex issue, with students affected in very different ways, between universities, courses and other circumstances – so the APPG would be very grateful for all thoughts on these issues.
Universities, sector groups and accommodation providers are invited to submit written evidence regarding:
- The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on students – both in terms of income and expenditure
- The efficacy and extent of existing support to students from Government, education providers and other bodies, and maintenance support more widely, including and any gaps in this support.
- The varying impact on different groups of students, including those who are mature, commuters, part-time, disabled, and international, as well as those from different social backgrounds.
- What further action might be taken this academic year to support students impacted by ongoing financial pressures.
This should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘APPG Students Inquiry – Organisation Name’ by 9am on Monday 27th February.