The English Collective of Prostitutes (EPC), a welfare body for sex workers, reported a sharp increase in students calling in shortly after university tuition fee reforms were announced.

As well as entering into the sex industry – working as strippers and prostitutes, for example – more and more students are apparently offering themselves up for medical experiments and gambling, in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.

EPC spokeswoman Sarah Walker said: “We have seen an increase year-on-year since the time that the student grants system was axed.

“There has definitely been a spike again since tuition fee changes were brought in.”

She added: “It is anecdotal evidence but we have definitely seen an increase.”

The EPC estimates that the number of people approaching it has doubled in the wake of government austerity measures.

Estelle Hart, national women’s officer for the NUS, told the press that she was concerned about students taking ever more dangerous measures to get by.

“In an economic climate where there are very few jobs, where student support has been massively cut, people are taking more work in the informal economy, such as sex work,” she said.

“It’s all dangerous unregulated work, simply so people can stay in education.”