Edinburgh is most expensive student city

The Capital is the UK's most expensive for students, according to a new survey out today.

Thursday, 28th July 2016, 11:40 am
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2016, 12:52 pm
Edinburgh is the most expensive UK city for students. Picture: Neil Hanna

Edinburgh has a history of academic excellence dating back to 1582, and around 56,000 students from around the globe currently live here.

But a new survey for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shows high rent and low term-time income combine to make it the least affordable place to study across the country.

Glasgow and Dundee came out among the cheapest.

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Despite their high cost of living, Edinburgh students still splurge on pubbing and clubbing – the poll shows they are the country’s biggest spenders when it comes to socialising, shelling out more than average on alcohol.

Lower accommodation costs help make Glasgow one of the most affordable student cities, with weekly rent there as much as £15 less than the £95.16 average. Lodgings in Dundee are even cheaper, allowing its 7300 students to spend more on their lifestyles than their counterparts elsewhere.

But regardless of their location, students rely on borrowing to fund their outgoings.

The survey shows loans contribute four times as much as any other source to a student’s income, bringing in an average of £161.14 per week.

Parents hand out much of the remainder, with the bank of mum and dad revealed as the second-largest cash provider.

Student leaders described the findings as unsurprising, but said the report highlights the need for reform of Scotland’s higher education system.

Rob Henthorn, education vice-president at NUS Scotland, said: “The figures released today, while shocking, will come as absolutely no surprise to the thousands of students across Scotland who face soaring costs of living, while struggling to juggle their studies and other responsibilities with working long hours to subsidise student loans or bursaries that aren’t fit for purpose.

“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.”

The results came from RBS’s Student Living Index.

Dan Jones, head of student accounts for RBS, said: “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.”