University Students undergo Financial Difficulties in UK

University students are struggling financially due to the Coronavirus-induced lockdown in most countries around the world. According to a survey by the National Union of Students in the UK, around 80% of students are worried about coping financially after being let go from their part-time jobs. This struggle is exacerbated by most parents being unable to lend significant financial support to their kids, as their own sources of income stand on shaky ground.

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This has led to students turning to university administration and to the government for financial aid. In Scotland, the government has heeded their cries and released a sum of 5 million pounds for emergency support. The University of Greenwich has offered free laptops and internet for students and staff, while the University of Loughborough has offered free meals to struggling pupils.

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Many universities have waived rent altogether in order to lighten the burden on students’ shoulders, The problem is, most university students in the UK, especially those enrolled in postgraduate programs, live off-campus and pay rent to private landlords. One of the most major criticisms against universities is centered on them letting large numbers of students go from their on-campus jobs and being unclear about the future of their employment in campus shops and research labs, throwing a wrench in the budget plans of the students.

All these issues have caused students to turn to sources like online crowdfunding sites to raise money. Students, with the bipartisan support of politicians, have also approached the central government to provide a 60 million pound country-wide hardship fund for students to act as a ‘safety net’.

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Similar concerns have begun emanating from Indian Universities as well, especially from students belonging to the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. The Indian Government must treat the UK-case as an example of where we could potentially end up and get in front of this issue before it’s too late.

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