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‘I pay more rent than my parents’ mortgage’ – Soaring prices cause struggles for Nottingham students

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With many reports of the cost of living rising, Nottingham students have spoken out about how rising prices are affecting them. Research from the National Union of Students (NUS) has found that three in four students are worried about managing financially.

More than half (51%) of those with a student loan or a bursary do not believe it covers the costs of living. Speaking with students in Nottingham, some said they are worried about soaring prices.

NUS UK President Larissa Kennedy said: “When you’re hearing from students who can’t afford to travel to their campus library, you know there is something deeply wrong. We know that thousands of students are already being forced to choose between heating and eating.

“And with this cost-of-living crisis only expected to get worse, the Government needs to act to support the most vulnerable. This must include introduce rent protections, maintenance support and reverse planned cuts to the student loan repayment threshold.

Max Lee, 19, who us a second year student at Nottingham Trent University spoke about the misconceptions that people have when it comes to students and money. He said: “People think ‘oh they’re a student so they must have money’ but that’s not always the case. I’m literally seeing prices going up in front of me.

“Luckily this year, my student finance covers my rent and I’m left with quite a lot but next year, with rent going up, it’s the opposite and I’ll be left with hardly anything. I work but not every student wants the stress of studying and working.” Max, who lives in Lenton went on to say: “With prices rising, I think that people’s wages should rise too and I also think that student finance should be increased otherwise, it just isn’t fair.”

Similarly, Nottingham student Oliver Binns 22, who is originally from Halifax and rents a house in Radford. Oliver, who studies Neuroscience agreed that in the current economic climate, budgeting can be hard for students, he said: “Without support from parents, I absolutely agree [that there’s a financial strain on students.”

Oliver has seen his own energy bill rising, he continued and said: “With food, it’s less of an issue because I live in a plant based household but for example, carrots were 35p and now, they’re 60p – that’s not massive. It’s less noticeable compared to someone who eats meat.

“There is support with bursaries and grants and additional help. As soon as I’m done with my degree I’m going back to the north – it is cheaper.” Oliver went on and said: “The massive change has been not being able to afford luxuries for new clothes or takeaways. The last time I went out [on a night-out] was Halloween.”

One Nottingham Trent University student who wanted to remain anonymous said: “Rent increases are rising in Nottingham every year. The accommodation I have been living in has gone up by £45-£60 weekly over three years. I pay more money on rent than my parents do on their mortgage. This isn’t just a reflection of inflation but also the huge demand for student accommodation giving property owners control of overpriced accommodation.”

Working to full time jobs, studying and running a society, they went onto say how they have no choice but to live this way: “Unfortunately though I have no choice because I have to fund my own living expenses like thousands of other students who don’t have financial advantages. Increasing student finance would be helpful but then again this also means we have more debt to pay back.”

Natalie George, 21, a third year student studying in Nottingham said not everyone can rely on their parents’ help: “The fact that students who are just wanting to study are struggling says it all. Yes we get student finance but sometimes that just isn’t enough,

“Even though we are students, we’re having to cut out things that students do like nights out and takeaways and take away from the fun, social aspect. I wouldn’t say I’m struggling to the point where I have no money but yes because of higher rent and food prices I have way less.”

A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: “There is a range of support available for students from the University who are experiencing financial difficulties, including the student hardship fund. This provides discretionary financial assistance towards living costs for home full-time and part-time students, to help them access and remain in higher education.

“We also have a dedicated financial support team available to offer advice and support to students who may be struggling.” Information on the support available can be found at: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/support/financialsupport/index.aspx

Written by: thehitnetwork

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