January 25, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

Students in Wales could have saved £6,651 by staying with parents this year according to research

IN September, students travelled across the country to move into their university accommodation, only to be asked to stay in their rooms, receive lectures online and have now been given a deadline to leave for Christmas.

The research, conducted by Studee, used data from Save the Student to work out how much students could have saved by staying with their parents and studying from home this year.

Students studying in Wales could have saved on average £6,651 a year
Students in Bangor could have saved the most £709 a month
Students across the UK could have saved an average of £656 a month living at home
There has been growing unrest at universities with students resorting to holding rallies* and rent** strikes because they feel the government urged them to return to campus, spending money on rent and utilities, when they could have continued studying from their family home without paying thousands of pounds to isolate in a bedroom on campus.

According to the NUS, 61%*** of students work part-time to support themselves financially whilst studying. Due to past and current restrictions, it’s likely many students will be out of work as 16-25 year olds are twice as likely to have lost their jobs compared to older workers****, putting them under even more financial pressure with 3 in 4 students concerned about how they will pay their rent***.

Breakdown by Place:

Where a student is studying determines how much they would have saved living with their parents and not paying bills associated with moving out.

Place Avg 1 month cost Avg 12 month cost
Bangor £709 £8,508
Swansea £599 £7,188
Cardiff £525 £6,304
Aberystwyth £512 £6,144
Wrexham £484 £5,808
Wales Average £525 £6,304

Those studying in Bangor could have saved the most -over £8,500. Students studying in Wrexham have the smallest saving of £5,808 which is still a huge amount of money to pay for being in isolation for weeks.

Laura Rettie, Vice President of Global Communications at education consultancy, Studee comments:

“Students have had an incredibly difficult year, and it’s easy to understand why they feel so aggrieved – they’ve been told to come to campus, only to be kept in quarantine and taught online. They could have easily studied at home without spending additional money on top of tuition fees to live close to or on campus.

“It will be interesting to see how many students actually decide to return to campus rather than staying at home after Christmas – I wouldn’t blame them if they opted for the cheaper option of staying with Mum and Dad. I can’t help but feel really sad for the students of 2020 – they’ve been dealt a really bad hand. It’s crucial universities take this additional cost for students into account when the decision is made to move to fully online lectures. Transparency is vital and decisions need to be communicated early to leave time for students to make arrangements. It’s not fair to leave things to the last minute. Equally, this is a really difficult time for universities who rely on the income from students to stay afloat and the balancing act is becoming increasingly precarious.”

Case study:

Kiran, 26, is a postgraduate student studying Cognitive behavioral therapy at Royal Holloway university.

“I feel lucky that I decided to live at home with my parents rather than moving onto campus as I was only told with a couple of months notice that the first semester would be 100% online lectures, many other students weren’t so fortunate. Those who are paying to live on campus are likely to feel like they are missing out, especially with lectures moving online.

“Students shouldn’t have been asked to return to campus when things weren’t set up to accommodate this – it was all very confusing. A lot of hassle could have been avoided by making a clear decision on courses being taught online where possible to give students certainty on what to expect and decide what is best for them.”

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