Student Guides

Which Regions Have The Most Expensive Living Costs For Students?

No prizes for guessing the most expensive.

University for all of its positives is undoubtedly an gut-wrenchingly expensive affair for an endless list of reasons.

From ridiculous tuition fees to insane living costs, the debt that higher education leaves students in has become more and more of a worry in recent years.

Obviously, living costs vary dependent on which part of the country a student chooses to study in. New research from Which? University details the most expensive and cheapest regions to be a student.

“The Which? University Calculator shows the estimated median student expenditure in the UK, adjusted for regional price differences. We used four waves of the the Living Costs and Food Survey (2012-2015/16, prices adjusted for inflation), a survey conducted annually by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to estimate the median student expenditure and the Relative Regional Consumer Price Levels (RRCPLs, produced by the ONS) to adjust for regional price differences. Private accommodation rent median values, were calculated using data from, for student Output Area Classifications as defined by the ONS, using 2011 census data.”

Predictably London tops the list of most expensive regions to study, coming in at a terrifying £14,200 based on expenditure and average cost of rent.

At the opposite end of the scale comes Wales, which marks up at £9,500. Northern Ireland is recognised as the cheapest area with the total coming in at £8,800.

The full table can be found below.

  1. London – £14,200
  2. South-East – £11,000
  3. East of England – £11,000
  4. Scotland – £10,600
  5. South-West – £10,500
  6. West Midlands £10,300
  7. North West – £10,300
  8. East Midlands – £9,900
  9. Yorkshire & Humber – £9,700
  10. North west – £9,600
  11. Wales – £9,500
  12. Northern Ireland – £8,000

A recent Which? survey found that 46% of students had asked parents or family for extra money to manage their living costs, with 40% saying these were higher than expected.

26% admitted to using overdrafts to make ends meet when it came to living costs, while 10% relied on credit cards to do so.

The Which? survey also highlighted the negative effect money issues had on students, with 31% saying it had negatively affected their mental health and caused them stress, whilst one in ten considered dropping out of university completely because of money struggles.

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