More than one in four UK universities are operating food banks for students in response to the cost of living crisis, according to new research.

The report by the Higher Education Policy Institute also found:

• Three-quarters of universities offered discounted food and drinks to students
• Nearly half provided financial assistance with healthcare and free period products
• More than a third helped towards costs of travel and digital equipment for study

The National Union of Students called the findings "a damning indictment" of the government's policy in respect to students and the rising cost of living.

"Students are the nurses, doctors, teachers and public sector workers of the future," said Chloe Field, the NUS vice president for higher education.

"Yet all too many are having their futures blighted by poverty and hardship that risks scuppering their potential."

The University of Manchester is among the higher education institutions that have given direct one-off payments to all students to help cover rising costs. It has also provided food vouchers and hardship grants.

EdCentral Logo