The current state of higher education is systematically excluding students from pursuing their studies and leading them to enter a perpetual survival mode.
Across the nation, Students' Unions are taking proactive steps to provide assistance to struggling students, offering community fridges, food banks, and vouchers to combat the relentless impact of the Cost of Living Crisis. While these efforts are invaluable in helping students in crisis, it is imperative that we resist the normalisation of such measures.
Shockingly, more than a quarter of universities in the UK now operate food banks, highlighting the severity of the issue. A staggering 55% of students are forced to juggle part-time employment alongside their studies, with a fifth of them committing over 20 hours each week to make ends meet. This relentless struggle often compels them to miss lectures, leaving them time-poor and unable to participate in the broader student experience.
We must not accept a future where we merely patch up the gaps resulting from systemic failures. It is vital that we reject the idea of this becoming the "new normal." Instead, we must collectively advocate for a higher education system that is accessible, affordable, and supportive, ensuring that every student can thrive academically and enjoy the richness of the student experience without the constant burden of financial insecurity.
Comments are open on this blog if you'd like to share your thoughts, you can contact me directly by email too.