The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is carrying out this important study on Higher Education students' experiences of the rising cost-of-living, in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) and Universities UK (UUK). The study will ask you questions about your views and experiences of the increases in cost-of-living, particularly how your income sources, debts and spending have changed since last year and the impact of this on your studies and mental health.
The ONS regularly conducts studies like this one to inform policy decisions.
This study is vital in understanding the impact of the rising cost-of-living on students in Higher Education. The results will provide insight into the current situation for the Department of Education (DfE), Universities UK (UUK) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This will help them to plan provision of support for students in response to the rising cost-of-living. It will also help shape and inform government education policy going forward.Back to table of contents
This is your unique opportunity to tell us about your experiences. Your responses will provide information not available from any other sources.
With your help we will build a picture of the views and experiences of Higher Education students in light of the rising cost-of-living. For us to do this, it is vital that we hear from as many students as possible.
Your response is extremely important to make sure your voice counts in producing reliable statistics for decision-making. You will be helping government policymakers to understand the impact of the increases in the cost-of-living on Higher Education students. This will help them to plan provision of support for students and will also help shape and inform government education policy going forward.
Your contribution is invaluable and greatly appreciated. Do not miss your chance to have your say.Back to table of contents
This study is intended for individuals currently registered as a student at a Higher Education institution in the United Kingdom. You should have received an email from your university, college or Higher Education provider inviting you to take part and introducing the study.
Your email will include all the instructions you need. This study is available for you to complete at any time until the closing date stated in your email.
Follow the link provided in your email to access the study on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Complete the questions.
Click 'Finish survey'.
Taking part is voluntary. If you do not want to answer some or any of the questions, you do not have to. Please answer as many questions as you can to ensure that your experiences and circumstances are counted. This is your chance to have your voice heard.Back to table of contents
The study will cover a range of topics, including:
information about you
your views about the rising cost-of-living
changes to your income and expenditure compared with the last academic year
the effect of the rising cost-of-living on your decisions about your studies and next steps
the effect of the rising cost-of-living on your mental health
The questions we ask can be based on both facts and opinions. You do not need any specialist knowledge to take part. There are no right or wrong answers -- your honest responses are vital for us to produce reliable statistics.
We design our studies with you in mind and keep them as short as possible. We only collect the information we need to better understand our society.
We respect your right to a private life – the information you provide in this study will not be used to identify you in any way.
At the end of the study, we will ask if you would like to be recontacted for future studies by the Office for National Statistics and, if so, to provide an email address. You do not need to agree to be recontacted to complete this study. Email addresses provided will be kept strictly confidential and maintained in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).Back to table of contents
The details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so that we can produce statistics. Government departments use the results of studies to identify how and where they should be using public resources. The results from this study will help shape and inform government education policy going forward.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will use your data for statistical purposes only and in ways which are consistent with our ethical principles as set out by the UK Statistics Authority.
Any data published will never identify you. Your personal information will remain confidential. We do not sell on your data, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in one of our studies. Your university, college or Higher Education provider will not have access to any details you provide in the study. More information can be found in our commitment to protecting your data.Back to table of contents
This study is being carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) and Universities UK (UUK). The questionnaire was designed by statisticians at the ONS, in collaboration with the DfE.
The ONS will receive all data collected and remain in control of all responses given by all study participants. The information you provide in this study will not be used to identify you in any way.Back to table of contents
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the country's largest producer of statistics. UK law provides us with the authority to collect data and produce statistics.
independent, unbiased and impartial
separate from other organisations and do not allow anything to influence the statistics we publish
the only organisation that produces official statistics as a primary role; we have no additional interest in the information we collect
only interested in society as a whole, and not you as an individual; statistics represent groups of people, and we remove your personal details as we are not interested in singling you out
We are not:
a commercial or market research organisation; we do not work for profit and will not try to sell you anything
associated with any political parties; we produce official statistics, no matter who the Prime Minister or political party in government is
going to sell on your data under any circumstances; we value your involvement in our studies and do not profit from your data; you will not receive any junk mail as a result of taking part
monitoring you, as the data you give are only used for producing statistics; we will not use your information to contact you about other matters such as your tax, income or benefits, and we will not provide your information to anyone else for them to do so either
Read more about what we do at the ONS.Back to table of contents
Do I have to take part?
Our work is very important, and we need your help to make our studies successful. Every year about half a million people help us by taking part in our studies.
Taking part is voluntary. If you do not want to answer some, or any, of the questions, you do not have to. However, for us to gain an accurate understanding of Higher Education students' experiences of the increases in cost-of-living, it is vital that we hear from as many students as possible.
Can I only take part online?
Unfortunately, this study is only available online.
I have lost my invitation email with the link needed to complete the study online. Can I have this again?
If you have lost the invitation email with the link needed to complete the study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I take a break part way through?
We would advise you to start the study when you have time to complete it. It will only take between 10 and 15 minutes of your time. Unfortunately, the study design currently does not allow questionnaires to be saved partway through and to be finished at a later point. If you were to close your browser window before completing and submitting the study, you would not be able to re-enter the study at the point you left and would need to start over again.
Can I complete the study in another language?
Currently, the study is only available in English.
How can I tell whether my answers have been successfully submitted?
When you complete the study, you will reach a page thanking you for taking part. This means that you have successfully submitted your answers.
When do I need to complete the study by?
You should complete the study by the date indicated on your invitation email.
Can I see the results?
The results from this study will be used by government bodies, policymakers and Higher Education Institutions who are looking at the impact of the rising cost-of-living on students. The results will be published in a report later this year.Back to table of contents
How have I been selected to take part?
Your university, college or Higher Education provider is among those selected to take part in this study. All students enrolled for the current term at your institution have been invited to participate.
How is my university, college or Higher Education provider involved in the study?
Your university, college or Higher Education provider has agreed to send you the invitation email to the study on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Therefore, the ONS does not have access to your email address. This is the only involvement your university, college or Higher Education provider has with this study.
Will anyone else see my answers?
We advise you to complete the study in private. We will not share any information you provide in the study with your university, college or Higher Education provider. Your responses will not be visible to other students. Once you have submitted your study, your answers cannot be accessed through the questionnaire.
Will I be identifiable in the results?
No. The information you submit will be treated as confidential as directed by the Code of Practice for Statistics. Any statistics or results produced will not identify you.
How will you use the information I provide?
The ONS will use your data for statistical purposes only. UK legislation allows us to collect and process your data to produce statistics for the public good. To do this, the details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part.
We will only share statistical outputs of the data with our stakeholders following the Code of Practice for Statistics. All statistics produced will be subject to the Code and the same standards of protection will be applied to your data at all times.
We do not sell on your data to third parties, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in one of our studies.
How long will you keep the information I provide?
We will only keep your information for as long as it is being used to produce statistics, in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Once the study is completed, ONS will destroy all personal data securely.
At the end of the study, we will ask if you would like to be recontacted for future studies by the Office for National Statistics and, if so, to provide an email address. You do not need to agree to be recontacted to be able to complete this study. Email addresses provided will be kept strictly confidential and maintained in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We do not share your contact details with other government departments. We do not sell on your data to third parties, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of agreeing to be recontacted for future studies.
What precautions for data protection and confidentiality have been taken?
We take our responsibilities to keep your personal information secure very seriously. As such, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft or misuse. These precautions include appropriate physical security of our offices, controlled access to computer systems, and use of secure, encrypted internet connections when collecting personal information.
The Office for National Statistics adheres to the Code of Practice for Statistics, the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 and processes all personal information with respect, keeping it secure and confidential. Any personal data collected are processed in systems that have been accredited by the ONS, designed to uphold the security of the data and that are subject to regular assessment. Once the study is completed, ONS will destroy all personal data securely.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is using a third party, SmartSurvey, to carry out the data collection aspects of this online study. However, the ONS will receive all data collected and remain in control of all responses given by all study participants.
If you have a question about how we process your personal data or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see our commitment to protecting your data.
Are any cookies collected?
We also automatically capture information about your operating system, display settings and browser type to ensure that the study is delivered in a form suited to the software your computer is using. We do not capture any other information from your computer.
You can read about the commitments the Office for National Statistics (ONS) makes to those taking part in its studies in our ONS respondent charter for surveys of households and individuals.
We will only use your data in ways that are consistent with our ethical principles as set out by the UK Statistics Authority. If you have a question about how we process your personal data or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see our commitment to protecting your data.
At the ONS, we take our responsibility to the public seriously. Our policy is to tell the appropriate authority if we believe there is a serious risk to someone's safety.Back to table of contents
If you have any queries or concerns about taking part in this study, please email us at email@example.com.
We would appreciate your suggestions on how we can improve any of our studies. We would also like to hear from you if you are happy with the service you have received. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to table of contents
Students who complete the initial online survey and who consent to be contacted for further research will be invited to participate in a follow-up interview.
The interview will be carried out online through Microsoft Teams and will last roughly one hour. The interviews will be recorded for subsequent transcription by Language Empire, an interpreting and translation service contracted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Interview recordings will be deleted as soon as transcripts have been quality assured and will be held for no more than six months. Transcripts and analyses will be kept for up to two years.
We will ask you questions about how the rising cost of living has impacted your spending habits, academic life, social experiences, and whether this has impacted your decision to remain at university.
Taking part is voluntary. You have the right to withdraw at any point of the interview.Back to table of contents