Russell Group response to latest ONS statistics on student cost of living

24 February 2023

In response to the statistics from the ONS Student Cost of Living Insights Study in England published today (24 February 2023), which highlights the impact of the rising cost of living on higher education students, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"Today’s figures highlight the concerning impact that growing financial pressures are having on university students across the country. It is particularly worrying to see that over three-quarters of students are concerned that the rising cost of living may affect how well they do in their studies. This pressure is only going to increase as maintenance loans for students in England only increase by 2.8% in 2023/24, far below current inflation levels – and even more out of touch with rates of food inflation.

"This is why our universities are stepping up support for students, including providing millions of pounds of extra financial assistance alongside a range of other measures on campus. However, additional help is urgently needed from the Government. As an immediate step, we have urged the Chancellor in his upcoming Budget to address flaws in the maintenance loans system and uplift loans so they reflect inflation since 2020/21."


  • In January 2023 the Russell Group warned that students stand to lose out on £1500 a year as maintenance loans in England fail to keep up with inflation.
  • Russell Group universities are stepping up support to ease the burden on students, committing millions of pounds of additional financial assistance alongside a range of other measures including providing subsidised food and extending access to campus facilities.
  • The Russell Group continues to lobby the Government for additional support for students struggling with the rising cost of living, and this forms one of the three key asks in its submission to the Government for the Spring Budget.

Related case studies

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter