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I was disappointed to read the "View from Here" piece by Jennie Bristow (Education +, 16 January) bemoaning students' attitude towards hardship. How unfortunate, too, that this piece should be published on the day the news broke of a student committing suicide over financial difficulties.

Student hardship is real. The current government policy on financial support is failing students, graduates and parents - and the country. The NUS and student unions continue to pressurise all political parties. Students, student unions and NUS have real ideas about how things can be improved.

We are not asking for sympathy; we demand a new system.

Douglas Trainer

National President, National Union of Students