This August, Universities Australia released the latest Student Finances Survey. Released every fine years since the 1970s, the survey is part of a ‘detailed study of the cost of living challenges’ facing Australian students.

The survey, which you can read here, was contributed to by over 18,500 students. But what did it reveal?

‘Particularly stark’ results

 

In short, and in Universities Australia’s words, ‘the picture revealed in [the survey] is one that warrants our continuing concern.’

While the data provided in the survey ‘suggests a slight improvement’ in student financial circumstances overall, ‘the financial hardship faced by some groups of students – particularly some Indigenous students and some from the poorest one-fifth of Australian households’ was found to be especially stark.

A quote taken from the latest Student Finances Survey from Universities Australia

A quote taken from the latest Student Finances Survey from Universities Australia

For instance, Universities Australia reports that one in seven domestic students state they ‘regularly go without food or other necessities because they can’t afford them.’

In Indigenous students this rises to a staggering one in four. On top of this, three out of five students have admitted their finances are a ‘source of worry.’

Universities Australia Student Finances Survey, the key topics

 

The survey provides a picture of student spending and finances, covering the following topics:

  • Income and spending
  • Paid work and the impact it has upon study
  • Access to income support
  • The cost of living and studying
  • Borrowing rates and debt
The financial experience of an Indigenous Australian full time student taken from the latest Universities Australia survey

The financial experience of an Indigenous Australian full time student taken from the latest Universities Australia survey

You can find the report, methodology and a foreword here.

The Blackbullion view

 

Unfortunately, the student financial experience detailed above is not isolated to Australia. As an organisation working with an increasing number of university partners across the UK, Australia, and New Zealand we are disappointed to see just how many students’ university experiences are negatively impacted by financial concerns.

We are sad to see that such similar financial issues face students across the world but we are pleased to watch the spotlight on these challenges grow. We are also gratified to see how many institutions are implementing financial initiatives to change the story for today’s students.

As a result of the information shared through this survey, we have began work on a comparative report on student financial health in Australia and the UK. Watch this space in the coming months.

Plus, to find out more about the work we do with universities across the globe, book a chat with our Head of Partnerships, Jock.

Further reading

 

Understanding Student Financial Worries – 2018 Blackbullion Study
Student Expectations and Spending Habits – 2018 Blackbullion Report
Student Finances Survey 2017 – Universities Australia

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