A new survey released by the Royal Bank of Scotland has found Edinburgh to be the most expensive city in the United Kingdom for students to work and live in.
The study found the city has above-average rent costs in addition to lower-than-average income for students make it the least-affordable city for those attending school. At the same time, students in Edinburgh were found to be the highest social spenders who dedicate above-average amounts each week to alcohol consumption.
In contrast, Portsmouth, Liverpool, and Newcastle were found to be the cheapest cities for students to live in.
Students in Edinburgh were found to pay an average of £112 on rent per week, in comparison with close to £110 throughout the rest of the UK. The average rent in Glasgow, one of the cheapest cities to live in, was found to be £96, while the rent in Dundee, the cheapest Scottish city on the list, came in around £94.
The survey of 2,500 students took into account a number of factors, including how much students spend when they go out and how much time is spent studying, as well as living and accommodation costs for students and average incomes.
Survey results found that the majority of student income comes from student loans, which, on average, amounted to £161 per week. That amount was found to be four times as much as money coming in from any other source, including part-time work. Money given to students from their parents was reported to be the second-highest income source.
In addition, the survey discovered students spend an average of 31 hours per week studying, and are spending £8 per week on alcohol. Students in Edinburgh however, were found to spend higher than average amounts on alcohol and going out to socialize.
But these numbers appear not to matter to Britain’s student body. Just one out of 50 students in the UK said they took fees into consideration when choosing a school. Scottish students studying in Scotland are not required to pay tuition fees.
A total of 98% of prospective students took into account other factors including subject choice, university reputation, distance from their hometown, and cost of living when selecting which school to apply to.
“Making the most of university can be expensive and there is a massive difference in the costs students face depending on where they choose to study,” said Dan Jones, Royal Bank of Scotland Head of Student Accounts.
Student leaders called the findings unsurprising, but added that the report showed the need for Scotland to reform its higher education system:
“With a student support system that simply doesn’t work for many students, and the disproportionately high costs of living that this report highlights, students are too often being forced into working unmanageable hours in underpaid jobs, taking out extortionate private loans, or dropping out of education altogether. Not only is this a huge waste of those students’ time and resources, but it’s also a great loss of talent for Scotland,” said Rob Henthorn, education vice-president at NUS Scotland.