There’s quite a strong relationship between student working and sectors where worker abuse is rife. This goes some way to explaining why students (from working class backgrounds anyway) might be easy prey to employers happy to break the rules.
Not a month passes without strident condemnation of student loans appearing in the mainstream press. You might think that’s welcome and that the costs of undergraduate study are now too high.
I agree with the latter point, but have become concerned about ill-informed criticism, which would leave readers with the impression that Student Loans Company loans are to be avoided and that there exist cheaper, private options for financing study.
If the undergraduate system in England is broken, it’s not because fees are unaffordable, but because costs of living exceed maintenance support to the extent that students have to turn to other debt (overdrafts, credit cards, commercial loans, payday loans etc.) or undertake excessive work in term time.
No government has yet committed to the principle that maintenance loans should cover living expenses, but it’s quite clear that the discrepancy there has become much bigger in the last decade. The…
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