According to the National Union of Students (NUS) the numbers of students in England turning to prostitution in order to fund university education is higher than ever, due to the increase in fees, living costs and cuts in education maintenance allowance.
According to the BBC, The English Collective of Prostitutes, a London based call centre, said the number of calls from students had at least doubled in the past year, especially since the government announced the rise in tuition fees from 2012.
The NUS also estimates that about 20% of women working in lap dancing clubs are students.
A 19-year-old first year at Southampton Solent University, told The Guardian newspaper that she started dancing at a local club, Aqua Lounge, to pay off debts, after her student loan arrived 3 months late. She decided to audition for the club after finding out she could earn up to £300 a night.
Manager of Aqua Lounge, Vicki Andrews, stated that she gives priority when hiring to students looking for work, and says since the student protests she has had a lot of enquiries from Southampton students.
This rise in student sex workers is a concern to NUS. Research from the University of Kingston in 2010 found that 25% of students knew someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies. This figure has risen from 3% in 2000. Dr Ron Roberts, who conducted the survey of several hundred university students, also found that 16% would consider working in the sex industry in order to continue on in higher education.