January Officer update: Cost of Living

A look at what's happening to tackle the crisis

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Your Officer Team 2022/23

Since September, your Officer Team have been working with the University to find ways to help you during the Cost of Living crisis. 

Here’s a look at what we’ve done so far: 

Affordable travel 

In December, we petitioned Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), for 6 months free travel for students during the Cost of Living crisis. We collected views from student commuters and got you to sign a 5ft Christmas card expressing how we wanted free transport so we can access our education.  

We took our campaign directly to Mayor Andy Street’s offices and we’re delighted that they have taken our petition into consideration. They have invited us to discuss our petition at the WMCA.  

This meeting is a huge opportunity to make a difference to students from across the West Midlands, 6 months free travel will ensure that no student will miss their lectures because they can’t afford frequent travel to their campuses. We look forward to discussing our proposal with WMCA on Tuesday 24th January.  

£1 student bus fare 

Our regional bus service, National Express, have a ‘Birmingham Uni Hop’ scheme which offers a £1 daily fare for students commuting certain routes. When it was introduced the NX Bus mTicket app was not clear on which routes the deal applies to, which in some cases meant students had to pay a full fare or were getting fines for the confusion. We asked National Express to rectify this issue as soon as possible. 

See the £1 student fare bus routes

Winter Saver Menu 

We recognised that lack of access to affordable food on campus could be a massive barrier to students accessing their education. We worked closely with the University and established a new food menu across City Centre and City South.  

The Winter Saver Menu included free breakfasts (hot drinks, toast, porridge), free soups and £1 hot meals. The menu was available from November 2022, and is back now! 

Check out the menu

Abolishing library fines and freezing accommodation rent 

Following feedback from National Student Survey (NSS), the University are looking at stopping library fines. From discussions with University decision makers, we are hoping for a positive outcome on this.  

We’ve also raised whether accommodation rent can be frozen during the crisis, meaning students can focus on their academic pursuits. 

Food prep areas, microwaves and kettles 

It’s important that students can access microwaves, fridges and hot water taps so that you can bring your own food to uni. We submitted an audit and lobbied the University who are now taking steps to provide better facilities across all BCU buildings.  

Film Nights 

We know it’s harder than ever to meet other BCU students, especially when your disposable income has decreased. We set up a series of Film Nights since September so that you could come together with other students and avoid the price of cinema tickets, food and streaming subscriptions.  

Check out this month's screenings!


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