Student income and expenditure survey: 2021 to 2022

Research into the financial position of students in higher education in England.

Pollard E, Williams M, Huxley C, Muir D, Cook J, Cetera R, Edney C (IES) & NatCen Social Research |   | Department for Education | Nov 2023

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Findings from a study on the income and expenditure of higher education (HE) students studying in England. It is based on a series of earlier surveys undertaken at regular intervals since the mid 1980s, and most recently in 2014 to 2015. The survey tracks the financial position of students and measures the impact of changes in funding and support.

The summary report presents findings for the 2021 to 2022 academic year, which is assumed to be 39 weeks for all students (following the approach in previous SIES). In the summary, median average values are presented for income and expenditure data (continuous data). The range of outputs also includes a technical report, plus an additional technical report with appendices and data tables covering total income, influence of finances, sources of income, income comparisons and expenditure tables. 

The aim of the survey was to provide an authoritative report on the financial position of HE students in England and Wales in the 2021 to 2022 academic year. It also sought to measure the impact of changes to the student financial support package by comparing results with the previous survey undertaken in 2014 to 2015.

The main changes were:

  • The withdrawal of Maintenance Grants and Special Support Grants for new fulltime students in 2016 to 2017, replaced by increased Maintenance Loans.
  • Extending eligibility to Maintenance Loans to eligible part-time students in 2018.