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More students are taking on paid work as the cost-of-living crisis bites

Rebecca Goodman
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Rebecca Goodman

The number of students in paid work has risen to 55%, from 45% last year, the highest figure recorded, a new report has revealed.

More than three quarters of them also said the cost-of-living crisis is having a negative impact on their studies.

The rise has been blamed on the increased financial pressure students now find themselves in amid soaring living costs and inflation.

On average those who are in paid employment work 13.5 hours a week. The report also found that students in paid employment are more likely to consider leaving their course and are less likely to say they would choose the same course and university again.

The rise in paid employment, as measured by surveying 10,000 students, was recorded by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).

It said that while paid employment has always been a necessity for a large number of students, there has been a significant increase in the last year. It also said the volumes are potentially concerning in terms of how much they may impact a student’s attendance in classes and the time they have to dedicate to study.

Loans should be reviewed ‘in a timely fashion’

Students in the UK are able to apply for two types of loan to help them financially through university. They can apply for a tuition loan, to cover their university fees, and a means-tested maintenance loan, to cover everyday living costs.

The Government announced a rise of 2.8% to maintenance loans at the start of the year, but this is well below the rate of inflation.

In the report by HEPI, it urged the Government to review the amount of money available to students through these loans.

It said: “The Government should review the mechanism used to increase student maintenance loans, to ensure that these increase in a timely fashion, in line with inflation.”