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Sam Armstrong and Lucy Atkinson, city councilors for University and Scotforth Rural Ward, have launched a petition asking the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson, for two separate reviews of student finance issues.
“We’ve had many students approach Lucy and me about funding issues. Their student loans don’t cover living costs, and students are losing time for their degrees when they are stressed about money and focused on working instead of classes” Sam Armstrong explained to SCAN.
The petition launched addresses the issues in two ways, asking for two separate reviews. One of the current financial arrangements that exist between the Government and higher education students for funding student living costs, and another to a review the fairness of tuition fees.
“Maintenance loans provided by Student Finance England are considered inadequate for sufficiently funding living costs by many students at Lancaster University”, the petition outlines.
“So many factors are not included when loans are calculated, like how many siblings a student has, mortgages, and this leaves students with loans that don’t cover living costs and families unable to provide extra support,” Armstrong explained.
With the coming rise in tuition fees, these issues are expected to be exacerbated. The second review being called for asks for an expanded review and explanation of the fees increase.
“These are issues we’re hearing from individual students, but the goal of the petition is to amplify those voices. When hundreds of students care about something and talk about it, institutions that deal with students have to listen.” Armstrong said.
The petition will be sent off in early November and can be found here.