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University students struggling with basic costs

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Almost half of students worry about being able to afford basic groceries such as bread and milk, according to a new survey carried out by the National Union of Students (NUS).

The survey also revealed that many students struggle to cover the cost of university essentials such as textbooks and travel and spend, on average, just £24.32 a week on their weekly shop. This is a sharp contrast to the £50-80 weekly budget that the University of Warwick website advises for food and general expenses.

The results of the survey come just a week before the launch of the NUS Poverty Commission which will look into the potential obstacles preventing working class pupils applying to university. The commission’s board will then make recommendations aimed at influencing government policy.

Shakira Martin, the recently-appointed president of the NUS Extra stated that the survey exposes the “desperate state” of student finances.

“Not only are university students forced to take on an enormous debt burden from the moment they begin studying, they are also given insufficient support to survive throughout their studies,” said Martin.

Alexander Ayling, a 19-year-old French Studies student believes that Warwick’s campus outlets do not cater to a student budget, stating: “I spent about the average because I went to Aldi, where the prices are fine. On campus, literally everything that costs money to buy is too expensive and it makes me angry”.

Furthermore, 19-year-old Philosophy and Literature student Ada Joy highlights that budgeting is hard at university: “Although I had a weekly budget for food, I ended up eating out more often than I should have, and going out is really expensive.”

You can read the Boar’s report on the cost of living at Warwick here.

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