A national survey conducted by independent researchers of over 2,480 students has found York is the 12th most cost-effective place to study in the UK – up 12 places from last year.
The NatWest Student Living Index 2015 measured what students across the country are spending money on, ranging from necessities such as rent and groceries, to expenditure on alcohol, sports and hobbies.
The Index is calculated by dividing the average local weekly student expenditure by the average local weekly income for working students. The average weekly rent for students in York is £90.22. Furthermore, students in York can earn, on average, £33.26 a week in part-time work.
For most students around the country, while their student loan remains a large part of the means through which they finance themselves during university, for those who do work, the main motivation is to ensure that they can afford the costs that come with a university lifestyle.
The average York student spends 28.65 hours a week on academic study – 1.6 hours higher than the national student average, coming 7th in the list of 25. York students also work more hours in their part-time jobs than the national student average, racking up 4.43 hours a week. Consequently it has been found that York students spend less time socialising than the average student in the UK.
Furthermore, the costs of socialising, including club entry, taxis and alcohol, are higher than the national student average. However, this is not to say that students do not commit to extra-curricular activities, as the study shows York students spend more time on their hobbies and interests than their fellow students from around the country.
The sport most popular among students in York was football, with the second highest expenditure, followed by tennis and cheerleading. York students were also more likely to spend a higher amount on gaming than the average UK student.
Ben Leatham, YUSU President, was positive about the outcome of the study saying: “Coming 12th in the Student Living Index is a fantastic result for York! With increasing financial pressures on students, it’s encouraging to know that those living here are getting good value for money.”
The study has also shown that there could be a cost associated with living in York. One student from the University told Nouse: “I have found that most of the students that I know, including myself, have had to budget strictly to be able to afford life as a student. Some of the accommodation in York can be expensive, as well as social activities within the University meaning that costs are at a high.”
Necessities such as laundry and dry cleaning, travel for longer distance between home and university, and photocopying and library services in York cost more than the national student average.
Leatham added to his statement: “A significant number of students in York still struggle financially. It’s important that indexes like this don’t distract the University from ensuring that those struggling students get the support they need.”
The University of York currently offers bursaries and scholarships to students who wish to apply.
The index itself can be viewed here.