One in twenty UK students participated in adult work to help pay their student loan in 2017, a survey by Savethestudent found.
Throughout the calendar year of 2017, 11 per cent of students either gambled, participated in a drug trial or worked in the adult industry to help increase funds. An 18-year-old KU student has also relied on a sugar daddy to ease his way through university.
Savethestudent surveyed 2300 students across the UK.
Kingston University aerospace engineering student Tadiwa Bhunu, 22, spoke to The River about living off the bare minimum and the shortcomings of the student grant system.
Bhunu said: “I have had to keep to strict budget just to survive. I do not think the student loan gives anywhere near enough money for students to live on, especially London prices.”
The nationwide average monthly rent for students increased by £16 compared to 2016, with average expenditure per month going up by £31 to £821 per month. This meant 84 per cent of students admitting they worry about having enough money to live on.
The increase in expenses also took its toll on student’s savings, with the average student having a meagre £491 in their savings when they graduate. This makes depressing reading for KU students, with the average rent for a one-bedroom property in Kingston being £1333 per month.
Bhunu also displayed his anger at the student finance system: “It is such an unfair system, they look at your parents income and decide how much you get purely based on that.
“How does society expect to call us adults when they treat us like kids. My parents have a high income so why should I get penalised for this? It just means I have to live on a basic budget.”
On top of money worries, university also took its toll on students’ health. Half of the students surveyed said that university lifestyle influenced their mental health. More than 60 per cent of students also admitted their diets suffered.
The survey also highlighted the ongoing national debate about gender pay gaps, with it being revealed that women are estimated to earn £3000 less than men as an average starting salary.