Earlier this week, the BBC printed an alarming article based on research by the NUS suggesting that up to 46,000 undergraduates had either borrowed, or considered borrowing from, payday loan companies in the last 12 months – this number represents 2% of the total student population. The full article can be read here.
Now, obviously it isn’t our duty to teach financial management to students. But it can become our problem. No one wants good students to drop out of education for financial reasons. And for this reason we need at least to know the basics of support available and how and where to signpost students to specialist support for those who need it. I, for one, am very pleased to see that Martin Lewis’s campaign to get financial education onto the national curriculum, both as part of citizenship and as part of maths, has been successful and will be introduced from September this year. It will be interesting to see the difference it may make to student’s money-management skills over the longer term.