According to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), poorer students in England are facing up to £1,000 less in financial support this year compared to past years. The IFS has warned that this could have serious consequences for some of the country’s most disadvantaged students.
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The IFS report found that since 2012, the government gradually replaced student grants and bursaries with loans as part of their austerity measures. This has meant reduced access to non-repayable funding for tuition fees, maintenance, and other essential living costs while studying. As a result, the poorest students are now receiving £1,000 less than they would have done just four years ago.
In addition to the reduction in financial support, the IFS report also highlighted that universities are now writing off a higher proportion of student debt. This means that poorer students have to borrow more money than their wealthier peers and are likely to have larger deficits overall.
The IFS has warned that these changes could have serious consequences for poorer students in England and could lead to fewer people from disadvantaged backgrounds attending university. The organisation has called on the government to ensure that students receive adequate financial support and are not put off attending university due to excessive debt.
This latest report is part of a growing body of evidence highlighting how austerity measures since 2012 have disproportionately impacted those from lower-income backgrounds. It appears again that the burden of austerity has fallen on those least able to bear it.
The government must now take urgent action to ensure students are not put off attending university due to financial worries and that they receive adequate funding to complete their studies. Failure to do so could have serious repercussions for generations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
How can the government ensure financial security for students?
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