Prices in the UK are rising at their fastest rate for 40 years.  Higher energy and food bills, partly affected by the war in Ukraine, are continuing to drive up the cost of living. We will continue to raise awareness of the latest financial news and any additional support mechanisms that may alleviate the current situation for students in Reading and nationally.

In our forthcoming series of blogs, we will cover an update on the national picture, support mechanisms available and advice on maximising your income and living more sustainably.

Inflation, the latest problem

Rising Inflation is the latest issue worsening financial pressures for students across the UK.

Inflation is the increase in the price of something over time. For example, if a loaf of bread costs £1 one year and £1.09 the next year, then that’s an annual inflation rate of 9%.

UK inflation, the rate at which prices are rising, increased to 9% by April, up from n already high 7% in March.  Experts are hoping inflation may now have peaked, but the unstable energy market offers no reassurance.  Energy costs are currently the largest contributor of rising inflation.  Read more from the Bank of England on Inflation rates.

With the impact of inflation on daily life, the cost of living will remain an important issue for the rest of this year.

Increases to all aspects of living may impact the quality of life for Reading students.  How are the price increases already affecting you, your household and daily life?  Have your habits changed?  Are you struggling in one specific area? 

I have already made sacrifices to going out and have resorted to socialising online to cut the costs of travel and eating out.

UoR Student

Supporting yourself and each other

You have many avenues for support if you find yourself in a situation concerned about mounting debts, financial commitments and supporting yourself.

It’s important that everyone is doing their best to support each other and please report any signs of your fellow students in crisis.

The University has handed out 427 hardship loans so far this year and will continue to help students in crisis where possible.

The Financial Support team offers free, confidential advice and support for all students.

The team are available to review your financial situation; whether it may be ensuring you are receiving your full funding entitlement, or simply giving you tips on how to save more money:

RUSU also provide an impartial money advice service; their team of money advice specialists offer independent information on money matters including:

  • The funding you could receive whilst studying
  • Helping you to resolve problems you might have with your funding
  • Assisting you to look for other sources of funding
  • Navigating the Welfare Benefit system
  • Financial support specifically for you

Specific support for students

Postgraduates: One of the things that the current government has undoubtedly got right is the belated introduction of student loans that help cover the cost of postgraduate courses, such as Masters. Yay!

Part-time students: Studying part-time gives you the flexibility to combine it with a job, look after any children you might have, or take care of a family member. Students learning on a part-time basis may be eligible for access to specific support funds

Mature students: are also eligible for student loans, calculated by household income rather than age!

Special support grants are also available if you are a single parent, a partner also in education, you have a recognised disability, have been unable to work or study due to illness or have been caring for someone or are over the age of 60 yourself.

Speak to our support teams for advice, eligibility and applications: https://www.reading.ac.uk/essentials/Money_matters/Advice

What’s your story?

We will continue our series on money advice, funding, and tips on living affordably over the coming weeks on our UoR Student Life channels.  Please tell us how you are managing.

How are the price increases already affecting you and your household?

We are keen to hear from students on your current situation, how the price hikes have affected you, what you plan to do to support yourself during summer and any money saving tips and advice you have to share with others email us.

Look out for our next blog covering the cost of living and money saving ideas at home, on campus, in the local area and online.

2 thoughts on “Tackling the rising cost of living: Inflation

  1. When I started uni I was classified as a migrant worker, this meant that I was able to get support from SFE to cover part of my expenses. However, I still had to work at least 20 hours a week to be able to pay rent, council tax and bills, having in mind that I live with my partner who works full time. England has always been an expensive place to live.

    After the cost of living crisis started, the amount of money that I was making wasn’t enough to cover my expenses. Energy bills rose drastically, I had to pay more council tax and national insurance contributions. I was forced to work full time during summer to cope with this matter.

    For this coming year at uni, my outlook does not look any good, SFE hasn’t made any representative changes in the amount of money that we can borrow, I believe they didn’t have this crisis into account when they calculated the loans.

    I’m really worried about my course, and I’m honestly thinking about stopping education in the UK. It is practically impossible to attend full time education at university and also work full time only to pay bills.
    Depending on how everything goes in the next months I’ll have to make a decision, even if this means to go back to my country.

    Living cost in the UK is going crazy and the measures that are being put in place do not help much independent students. It seems that everyone takes for granted that all students rely on support from family, which is not my case as a migrant.

    1. Hi Juan,
      If you’re a University of Reading student, you can seek help through the “Ask Us a Question” function on the RISIS Portal and the dedicated Cost of Living pages on Essentials.
      It’s a really difficult time at the moment, so make sure you’re looking after yourself! Fingers crossed for you.
      Student Life

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