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How does the cost of student life compare across the UK?

Struggling to choose a university? Or wondering how other students spend their money? Well, the recent results of a NatWest survey have revealed that the cost and nature of student life varies significantly between cities.

To get an insight into student spending, the Student Living Index 2016 asked 2,500 students where and how they spend their money. It compared average weekly spends on essentials such as rent, food and shopping across 25 popular university cities. By dividing average weekly expenditures by average weekly income, a cost-effective rating was then assigned to each city.

The results revealed that students in Portsmouth benefit from below average rent prices and the highest term-time income. This put the city in first place, ranking as the most-cost effective place to be a student. Liverpool closely follows in second place, whereas life for students in Scotland isn’t so great, with Edinburgh ranking as the least cost-effective city in the UK.

Students in Southampton spend more than any other city on creative hobbies such as art, writing and photography. Meanwhile, students in Newcastle take the top spot for the most money spent on alcohol.

Unsurprisingly, students in Oxford and Cambridge spend more hours on their studies than students in any other city. But let’s hope that’s at home, as they pay up to £27 more a week for rent, than the national average.

Students in York seem keen to maintain their social ties; they spend more time socialising than any other city and dedicate more time than average playing team sports. What’s more, hours spent socialising showed to have the largest impact on course enjoyment, suggesting that York students are more likely to enjoy studying for their degree.

If you want to find out more about how student life and spending compares between cities, you can view the full results here.

  • Date published: 20th October 2016
  • Written by: Bekah Edwards

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