Undergraduates: then and now

Historically, our alumni left College with little or no debt. Those from less well-off backgrounds will have enjoyed the benefits of a full Maintenance Grant and had no tuition fees to pay. However, the Johnians of today face a very different set of circumstances.

The cost of a three-year degree is now in excess of £50,000 for home students, and higher still for those coming to St John’s from overseas. The demise of the Maintenance Grant, coupled with the near-300 per cent increase in tuition fees, means that students in the UK now graduate with more debt than in any other English-speaking country in the world.

In response, St John’s has established several new conduits of support for our undergraduates, including a ground-breaking Studentship scheme; the first of its kind in the UK. Through this, and similar initiatives supported by Free Thinking, we intend to become a beacon of positive reform on student funding, both in Cambridge and further afield.