I remember the feeling well: £510 in my account, 10th of the month, and within moments… pretty much gone.
After rent, I would be left with £140 for the rest of the month. Minus bills, £75. Still slightly above the average amount, students are left with after rent and bills are paid, but not a lot.
I was lucky in the sense that I had a part-time job and that I had saved up over the summer when I could’ve lived at home rent-free. But for many students, that isn’t possible, and that £510 each month is it.
The Scottish Government continues to ignore the all-too-common story of students living in a financial cycle that in any other situation would be considered poverty. Once again, students have been ignored in the Scottish Budget, with the Government’s manifesto promise to increase student support long forgotten. Rather than following through on their promise, they doubled back, instead delivering real-term cuts to university and college budgets.
35 per cent of students in Scotland have considered dropping out of university because of financial pressures, and with the cost-of-living crisis heightening almost weekly, this number is surely rising. Further education is at risk of becoming an asset available exclusively to the wealthy, of becoming the newest token of nepotism.
It always feels like someone is saying ‘now is the time,’ but here we are once again. It’s time to rally and say enough is enough. It’s time to demand that the Scottish Government take notice and take further education seriously.
February 1st, Scottish Parliament.
Join us in the Fight For Students. See you there.
(Further details will be available on the Students’ Union social media pages, including transport advice and placard-making sessions.)
Featured Image Credit: Students’ Union