Monday, April 24, 2006

Student Finances Under Labour

The cost of being a student has risen substantially under the current Labour government.

An official survey suggests that student expenditure has increased by 44% in real terms. The average expenditure for a student graduating in 1999 was £6,161, by 2005 it was £10,273. Since 1998-99 total borrowing has gone up 66% for part-time students and 74% for full-time students. The average debt for a student graduating in 2005 was ££7,918, the poorest students had the most debt.

This September the government’s new fee arrangements come into effect. Students may have to pay up to £3000 in tuition fees compared to the present £1,175 contribution. The new system means the poorest students will not have to pay fees and no student will pay their fees until after they graduate.

56% of full-time students are working to fund their studies, earning an average £3,250 after tax. This work was more likely to be permanent or continuous employment than casual work. 39% of full-time students and 52% of part-time students felt that working while studying had an adverse impact on their health and academic performance.

The survey was complied for Department for Education and Skills by the National Centre for Social Research and Institute for Employment Studies.


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