Image shows student struggling with cost of living

From ‘cost of living’ to ‘cost of learning’ crisis

The NUS has this week revealed the true extent of student hardship in its latest survey which highlights how learning is yet another casualty of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Students struggling financially, says NUS

A survey of 3,500 university students, college students and apprentices across the UK paints a concerning picture, with 3 in 4 students saying that, due to the rising cost of living, they would not be able to continue to afford course materials without more support.

This puts students in a difficult position – do they ask for financial help or struggle on without the materials they need to succeed on their course? Whilst asking for help and support is always encouraged, we all know it’s not easy and there will be students out there who won’t take that leap.

The impact on mental health

With students now having to choose between learning materials, groceries and enjoying their university experience, it’s unsurprising then that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting their mental health and wellbeing, with a staggering 90% of respondents saying the crisis is having a negative impact on their mental health. More alarming than this is the 31% of students who consider the impact on their mental health to be ‘major’.

Reducing the financial burden on students

Whilst the Government offers help in the form of university and college hardship funds, the survey revealed that on 20% of students had accessed Government funding and 8% believe the government should be doing more.

But outside Government intervention, what else can be done to reduce the financial burden on students?

One saving students could be making – and that Kortext believes in wholeheartedly – is on their textbooks. More and more universities across the UK are making the switch to supplying their students with their essential reading and study materials for free, opting for eTextbooks to improve access and provide an anytime, anywhere study experience.

Over half of librarians and more than 70% of academics believe students should not have to pay extra for their course textbooks. By supplying the necessary textbooks to each student, it’s not only a financial weight off their shoulders but also a benefit to their mental health.

As the cost of living increases, disadvantaged students will be disadvantaged further and many students who have previously felt confident about their finances will be feeling like the rug has been pulled from under them. Levelling the playing field for students has never been more important. With instant, free access to their learning materials, all students have a better chance to succeed.

No more competing for library books if a student can’t afford to purchase their own copy. No more waiting for access – a book can be there waiting for students on a digital platform like Kortext Arcturus.

Whilst the student cost-of-living crisis extends beyond the affordability of learning materials, every step towards reducing the financial burden on students is a step towards happier, motivated students and ultimately better outcomes.

To discover how Kortext can help your university or programme provide students with their essential eTextbooks or to find out about Kortext’s new university eBookStores – where students can purchase eTextbooks at a competitive price – please do not hesitate to contact us.

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