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Students: Cost of Living

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL4407, tabled on 19 December 2022

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support students with the cost of living.

Answered on

9 January 2023

The department recognises the additional cost of living pressures that have arisen this year and that have impacted students. Many higher education (HE) providers have hardship funds that students can apply to for assistance. There is £261 million of student premium funding available this academic year to support disadvantaged students who need additional help. The department is working with with the Office for Students (OfS) to ensure universities support students in hardship using both hardship funds and drawing on the student premium.

All households will save on their energy bills through the Energy Price Guarantee and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are eligible for the energy bills discount. The Energy Prices Act passed on 25th October includes the provision to require landlords to pass benefits they receive from energy price support, as appropriate, onto end users. Further details of the requirements under this act are set out in the legislation.

A HM Treasury-led review is being undertaken to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.

Decisions on student support for HE courses are taken on an annual basis and changes for the current 2022/23 academic year were made through Regulations laid in December 2021.

The government is currently considering options for changes to loans and grants for living and other costs for the 2023/24 academic year starting in August 2023 and an announcement will follow in due course.

The UCAS end of cycle report shows that in 2022 there were record numbers of 18-year-olds getting into university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. An English 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background today is 86% more likely to go to university than in 2010.

The department’s widening participation publication from 2022 shows that progression to higher education has increased across all students, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Black pupils have seen the greatest increase in the proportion entering HE by age 19, increasing from 44.1% in 2009/10 to 62.1% in 2020/21.