London Higher response to increase in student maintenance loans announced by DfE on 11 January 2023

“Today’s announcement from the Department of Education that undergraduate loans for living costs, disabled students’ allowance and grants for students with child or adult dependants will be increased by forecast inflation, 2.8% across the UK, including the capital, is a positive acknowledgement of the additional pressures facing students in the current cost of living crisis. London is already one of the most expensive cities in the UK to live and study, with some of the highest levels of deprivation, so any increases to the amount of maintenance available to the city’s students, together with the £15m uplift to this year’s student premium, is naturally welcome.

However, with institutions already stretched providing support to their staff and students, and the actual rate of inflation reaching higher numbers than the projected 2.8%, we fear this additional support will not be enough, particularly to students in London facing the triple whammy of rising rents, household bills and the costs of everyday essentials including public transport. There is only so long that the capital’s universities will be able to sustain current levels of hardship funding and some are already beginning to roll back following the recent loss of the London weighting and other subject-specific funding.”