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More than 17,000 UK students face arrears in university income | Education

The figures show a 16% increase in people facing housing debts and a doubling of evictions

More than 17,000 students living in university residences were delayed with their rent payments in the last year, according to figures suggesting that thousands more face financial difficulties during their courses.

There has been a significant increase of 16% in the number of university rent arrears, reveal the new statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. A small but growing number of students are also being evicted from the wards or their tenants have been canceled after falling behind with payments.

According to the data revealed by the Liberal Democrats, 97 students were evicted from the wards in the last year, more than double the 40 that had their tenants canceled the previous year. About 17,300 students living in college halls have fallen behind in rent last year.

The data was based on responses from 90 universities in the United Kingdom. It showed that 21 had evicted a student or canceled their contract due to non-payment of rent on time in the last five years. The average rates in the rooms of the surveyed universities increased from £ 4,583 per year in 2012-13 to £ 5,208 in 2016-17, up 13.6%.

The revelations came in the middle of a long dispute in government about the best way to help students with debts. Justine Greening, the former secretary of education, is understood to have favored the reduction of the interest rate on student loans and the use of maintenance grants for the poorest students. But Theresa May is interested in reducing enrollment rates because of Labor's promise to abolish them.

Brunel, York, Leicester, Leeds and Warwick head the list of universities with students in arrears.

Brunel University London said it had a budget advisory service to help students plan their expenses, and support for those who were overburdened. No student had been asked to leave, he said.

Warwick said that, as a campus university that had chosen to continue owning his housing, he had "many more students renting our homes than other universities." , which explained their high levels of arrears. York, Leicester and Leeds declined to comment.

Alistair Jarvis, executive director of university pressure group Universities UK, said it was now necessary to reintroduce maintenance subsidies for those who were struggling. "It is very important that a student's lack of access to funds at the beginning of their course does not present a barrier to entering higher education, and that students can cover their living costs," he said.

"The evidence shows that students are more concerned about the money in their pockets while they study. UK universities have asked the government to consider reintroducing specific maintenance grants to the needy. "

Izzy Lenga, vice president of the National Student Union, said the figures were not surprising" given our broken student financial support system, which does not even begin to cover the increasing cost of basic housing. "

" This leaves students in a precarious situation in which they are not sure how they will pay the rent next month, "he said. "Instead of falling into the easy temptation to label them as income tax evasion cases, we should instead urge the government and the higher education sector to wake up to the reality that students are being deprived of housing and their education. "

Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Layla Moran said:" This is a deeply troubling situation that has undoubtedly contributed to some students abandoning their university courses altogether. I can not believe that it is pure coincidence that the number of students expelled or canceled rents has doubled in the last year since the Prime Minister eliminated subsidies for students from the most disadvantaged environments.

"The Prime Minister must immediately reconsider this punitive policy and reinstate scholarships for low-income students, ensuring that living costs are not a barrier to disadvantaged young people studying in college. I will also call for the Department of Education to work with colleges to address the reasons for the rising rental costs in its rooms. "

The Department of Education said:" Students from the lowest-income families Income that started their courses this year has access to the most money in cash for living expenses. This government increased media support support for full-time students with the lowest incomes by 10.3% in 2016-17 compared to the previous grant and loan package, with further increases in 2017-18 and 2018-19. "

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