London Higher responds to the Sutton Trust’s pre-election briefing on student maintenance

In response the Sutton Trust’s pre-election briefing Dr Richard Boffey, Head of AccessHE at London Higher said:

“We strongly endorse the recommendation, made in today’s Sutton Trust briefing, that the next government reintroduces maintenance grants for poorer students and increases the overall amount of maintenance support available.

The nature of higher education participation and of study costs in London make maintenance support a fundamental concern in the capital. Students from Free School Meals-eligible backgrounds in London are more likely to progress to higher education than their peers elsewhere in the country, which is a record to be proud of, but speaks to the volume of young Londoners entering or currently in the higher education system for whom maintenance support is pivotal.

As this briefing highlights, cost of living concerns may dissuade students from disadvantaged backgrounds from going to university or restrict them to studying locally. The choice is even more stark in London, where spiralling rent costs are leaving many students to conclude that they cannot even move out of the family home to pursue higher education.  

We will be publishing further research on how cost pressures are impacting on higher education decision-making in London later this year, allowing for a deeper dive at a regional level into the important findings of this briefing.”