Layla Moran MP is leading a cross-party campaign calling on the Government to help students who find themselves in “dire” circumstances, including taking action to prevent students become homeless, ramp up mental health support and offer COVID-19 Maintenance Grants.
The cross-party group of 21 MPs have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, to raise concerns that students who have “no support network” and “find themselves extremely isolated” are at risk of homelessness, and potentially unable to access essential medicine and food.
In the letter to the Chancellor, the group is demanding urgent action, in line with campaigns from Stand Alone, the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL), Become, The Unite Foundation, and Spectra, including:
- Asking the Government to work with student accommodation providers and landlords to prevent students becoming homeless.
- Ensuring universities step up to provide support for students’ mental health through online counselling and peer-to-peer initiatives.
- The letter also reiterates previous calls for the introduction of a Covid-19 Maintenance Grant for students from low-income backgrounds or on low incomes.
Layla Moran MP, who is the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson and Oxford West and Abingdon MP said: "The situation for some university students has become dire, both for their finances and for their wellbeing. The Government needs to step up. That’s why I am calling on the Chancellor to set up a Coronavirus Maintenance Scheme for students on low incomes or from low-income backgrounds.
“In particular, I want to highlight the difficulty faced by students from care, or those estranged from their families, who now have no safety net to fall back on at all. They worked harder than most to get into higher education, and they deserve our support.
“If we can’t even protect our students from becoming homeless, then it’s clear that not enough is being done. That’s why the Government needs to widen its safety net to catch university students by setting up a Coronavirus Maintenance Scheme without delay.”