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KU students struggle to cope with cost of living

By Erica Brown Oct 28, 2022
Person looking worriedPhoto: Yosi Prihantoro/Unsplash

The cost of living crisis currently affecting the nation is having a major impact on university students, with some having to turn to extreme measures to get by.

Increased rent, gas and electricity bills are all something that many KU students as well as those up and down the country are struggling with and students are having to cut back to meet their bills.

Fashion communications student Amelia Hawes said: “It has definitely affected my food shop bills and being able to treat myself, it makes me question my purchases more.”

A recent survey by Kantar looking at annual food-shopping budgets forecasted a rise of £12 a week, a figure that will have massive consequences for students.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and while many students have taken on extra paid work, some have turned to alternative incomes.

A student who wished to remain anonymous said: “I’ve had to go to extremes that I thought I would never have to go to… I sell my underwear, because that’s the only profit I can get at the moment… I never thought I’d have to do it, I feel really exploited.

“I have a full-time job as well. The university told me due to my parents’ income I can’t get any other money, but my parents don’t give me any extra money. I feel let down by the university and the whole system, student finance, everything.”

The student said that what money they do get barely pays for three months’ rent: “It doesn’t take into account food or anything else.”

Students experiencing stress and financial difficulties can access advice and support on coping with the cost of living via the Support tab on MyKingston.

The typical student lifestyle has also taken a hit. Sydney Hemmington, criminology and sociology student, said: “Normally I would be going out at least once a week, but I have not been able to do that. I haven’t been able to see my friends. I’m worried about money and worrying about money on top of university isn’t good.”

Universities across the country are facing unprecedented demand for hardship funds according to the Guardian.

Emails were sent out last week by Dr Hilda Mulrooney asking students to respond to a short survey asking what assistance they would like to see with shopping and what else they need help with.

In the meantime there is information on the cost of living page on My Kingston.

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