/Revealed: The best city to go to university in 2018

Revealed: The best city to go to university in 2018

  • Hull is the most affordable city to go to university
  • Students in Scotland are working the most whilst studying
  • The Bank of Mum and Dad the biggest source of income, after student loans
  • One in three students have no budget at all whilst at university


Hull has been named the most cost-effective city to attend university in the UK, as part of the NatWest Student Living Index 2018.

However, only three percent of students choose where to attend based on affordability – with the majority calling subject choice their number one concern.


More money on Humberside 

If you’re attending university in Hull, you’re in luck – the Yorkshire city has been declared the most cost effective city for higher education in the whole of the UK, just beating last year’s winner, Cardiff.

Not only are students in Hull likely to spend well below the average amount on their accommodation, they also stand to earn much higher salaries than their counterparts, with only students in London and Canterbury earning more during term time.

And with the money spent on alcohol significantly below the UK student average of £30.50 per week, it seems as if all that extra income isn’t necessarily going to waste.


Term time income

Hull may be most affordable city when it comes to living and accommodation costs but, perhaps unsurprisingly, students in London came out on top for term time income.

Based on all sources of income, students in the capital stand to make £1,388 per month. Canterbury, Hull, Cardiff and Brighton rounded out the top five.

However, students in London also spend the most on rent, at £668.24 – a massive 43% more than the national average.

Students in Scotland work the most hours whilst at uni, with those in Dundee and Stirling spending around 25 hours every month concentrating on their part-time jobs.


The Bank vs The Bank of Mum and Dad

Perhaps unsurprisingly, loans provide the highest monthly monetary contribution across the board – making up a massive 38% of student savings.

Other forms of income included money from parents or family (17%), personal savings, part-time work and bursaries/scholarships (around 9% each).

According to the research, Oxbridge students receive the most from their parents every month, followed by those in London, Exeter and Durham.

Those based in Hull get the least from their families, and students in Manchester top the pile for bursaries and scholarships.


Big spenders

Aside from household bills, students have two main outgoings: supermarkets and socialising.

Food shopping, toiletries and household items were the clear priorities – with the average student spending £76.30 every month on the necessities.

Alcohol was the next expenditure (£41.07), followed by eating out (£36.10) and clothes shopping (£30.10).

However, it does seem like spending varies across the country. Students in Manchester easily spend the most on a night out, with 9% of those admitting they spent more than £50 the last time they went out.

Students in St. Andrews saved the most when it came to social spending.


Subject the biggest factor

Finally, although affordability is undoubtedly important, it has almost no impact on the decision of where to study.

Half of the students surveyed based their choice on what subjects were on offer, with university reputation (23%), close proximity to their home (8%), and social life (6%) all coming above cost of living (3%).

But with one in three admitting they don’t budget at all whilst at uni, it’s not surprising that cost of living isn’t a key deciding factor for picking the perfect place to study.


The NatWest Student Living Index is made up of answers from 3,419 students across 35 popular university cities. Affordability is calculated by taking monthly living and accommodation costs, and dividing them by the average monthly income for that city. For the full results, visit NatWest Life Moments