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8th February 2023

SU Report: students ‘struggling’ with cost-of-living crisis

The Students’ Union cost-of-living survey indicates 66% of students feel that their wellbeing has been affected
SU Report: students ‘struggling’ with cost-of-living crisis
Students’ Union. Credit: The Mancunion

80% of students at the University of Manchester are concerned about the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, a report by the Students’ Union has found.

Published in December 2022, the report is a result of a survey sent to all attendees of the University of Manchester. Overall, it concludes that students are “experiencing immense financial hardships” due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The report found that the mental wellbeing of 67% of the students who completed the survey was being negatively affected. This contributes to the already extensive mental-health crisis the University is experiencing. 66% said that their general wellbeing had been affected.

In the “Financial Concerns” part of the report, 2% of students (around 106 people) admitted to being reliant on food banks. 5% of students are under such pressure that they are considering dropping out of University.

32% of students were currently in work, and over half (59%) looking for more work. 15% of working students were working 36-50 hour weeks, and 16% were working 21-35 hour weeks. The University recommends that students work no more than 15 hours-a-week on top of their degrees.

The Students’ Union recommended that to alleviate pressure on affected students, the University should consider extending initiatives like “Cosy Campus” and “Winter Warmer Wednesdays” into Semester Two and beyond.

48% of students were unaware of the University or the Students’ Union providing financial support for students, despite the fact all students were offered a £170 cost-of-living payment in late 2022.

Since the beginning of the cost-of-living crisis, the University has created the Cost of Living Support Fund to provide financial support and advice to students – just 3% of the surveyed have used it.

The report is the first of its kind at the University of Manchester, producing information specific to the institution.

The Students’ Union hopes that the University of Manchester will consider its findings and recommendations relating to the cost-of-living crisis.

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