The cost of living crisis is pushing students to the brink.

The Cost of Living (CoL) crisis is having a huge impact on students. A survey of 3,500 students and apprentices by the National Union of Students (NUS) found that 96% of students are cutting back on spending, and almost a third are left with just £50 a month after paying rent and bills. 

Your Sabbatical Officers have made it a key priority this year to help ease the burden of the crisis, by focusing on making basic everyday items free to our students who need them the most. We continue to evaluate and create ways that we can support students during this hard time. 


What have we already done?

  • Cost of Living Survey: Report now available

    • In term one, we asked UAL students to fill in our Cost of Living survey, and we received over 1,400 responses. The report from the survey is now live and can be viewed here.

  • Free Memberships for Sports & Societies: 
    • We secured extra funding from UAL which enabled us to make memberships free for our sports & societies this academic year. 
    • You still need to register for a free membership on our website - if you have any questions pop an email to or
    • For more information check out our Communities section on our website and follow the Arts SU Instagram and Arts SU Communities Instagram.
  • Cost of Study: 
    • As artists and students, there are also many study costs that also impact students with rising costs, supply issues, and lack of access to free or low-cost art materials in London. The Sabbatical Officers have been supporting cost of study prevention initiatives such as the UAL Re-Use Units and supporting the CSM Swap Shop.  

      The CSM and Communities officers have been collating art supplies for a free giveaway, which we run in term 2, targeting students who need the materials the most.  

  • Period Poverty - Free Period Products across UAL: 

    • Period poverty refers to the inaccessibility of affordable period products to people who menstruate. Your Sabbatical officers have been building upon the work of various student campaigners and CSM Changemakers to lobby UAL to extend their trial of free period products from CSM to a UAL-wide provision.

    • You can read more about the history of this project and which students have been involved in our blog post from last month, written by Minna (CSM officer 2022) here

    • This is a great win for the SU and will set UAL as a leading institution, as although many other Universities have been providing free period products to students and staff for years, UAL has committed to buying great quality, ethical and eco-friendly products, in line with our values of sustainability and social justice.

  • Tackling food poverty - Food Parcels:

    • Kim (CCW Officer) and Minna (CSM Officer) lead on our food parcel scheme.

      The scheme was initiated at CSM and Chelsea to bring students staple ingredients for cooking meals at home, along with some fresh produce and essential toiletries. 

      Our evening Meal event at LCC was designed to offer students a quality hot meal during dinnertime in a commual space.

      We're continuing to gather valuable feedback from students about these initiatives which will help us develop and maintain the project to flexibly suit the needs of students. 

What are we planning on doing?

We're committed to continuing to support students during the Cost of Living crisis, we're planning to continue our current work and listen to feedback from students on how we can do more. If you have an idea of how we could work to support students during the Cost of Living crisis, submit it via our ideas platform here: 

You can also come and ask questions at one of our next Arts SU student forums!

Available support:

The Arts SU independent advice service are on hand to let you know all the available support you can obtain if you are struggling during this time. You can email them over at