To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the cost of public transport on students' (a) finances and (b) mobility.
11 July 2023
The department continually monitors the impact of rising prices on students. The department recognises that the availability of student accommodation has been impacted by the current financial backdrop and that this can create additional transport costs for students. This is why the government has continued to increase living costs support each year with a 2.3% increase to maximum loans and grants for living and other costs for the 2022/23 academic year, and a 2.8% increase for the 2023/24 academic year.
There is £276 million of Student Premium and Mental Health funding available this 2023/24 academic year, to support students who need additional help, including disadvantaged students. This funding will complement the help universities are providing through their own bursary, scholarship and hardship support schemes.
The department works with the Office for Students to ensure universities support students in hardship using both hardship funds and drawing on the Student Premium as higher education (HE) providers have established their own hardship funds, which allow discretionary funds to be paid to students who are in need.
Decisions on student finance will have to be taken alongside other spending priorities to ensure the system remains financially sustainable and the costs of HE are shared fairly between students and taxpayers, not all of whom have benefited from going to university.