French student union raises alarm over rising costs

Costs for students rising at triple the rate of inflation, triggering calls for rental caps

August 30, 2017
Student withdrawing money from ATM
Source: Alamy

French students are facing above-inflation rises in their cost of living, particularly in major university cities, the country's national student union has warned.

Rising costs come as the government is cutting back on rental subsidies, including for around 800,000 students, reported The Local.

This coming academic year student costs are set to rise 2.1 per cent, according to the National Union of Students of France, triple the rate of inflation, and significantly more than in 2015 and 2016.

In the major student cities of Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Angers and Rennes, both rent and transport costs are going up.

The union warned that rent accounts for 53 per cent of students' budget, the outlet reported. There were particularly big rises of above four per cent in Grenoble, Limoges, Perpignan and Chambéry.

In Paris, rent was up 2.2 per cent and transport increased by 2.4 per cent.

The union wants a rent cap to be applied to major university cities and towns, The Local reported. Since February a cap has been applied in Lille, where rents this coming year are marginally down.

Student registration fees and university restaurant prices have been frozen, but the union said this was not enough, and called for students to be exempted from council tax and be given discounted public transport.

The UK's National Union of Students has also raised the alarm about rising rental costs for students, arguing that rising prices are resulting in a "social cleansing of working-class students from education".

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