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Universities ‘big losers’ during Pandemic

THE coronavirus pandemic has affected universities across the world, 13 UK universities are at risk of going bust* and 80% of students have struggled financially.** It’s not just universities and students who’ve suffered – university towns and cities have also experienced a loss of income when students were forced to move off campus and back to their families when the country first went into lockdown in March.

Studee researched the true cost of the pandemic for university cities and towns in the last 6 months.

Some towns lost the majority of their communities when students left and millions of pounds went with them. High streets up and down the UK saw an 18.8%*** drop of non-food purchases in the 3 months to August, demonstrating the true cost that covid-19 had. Remove a huge proportion of a town’s population and the financial impact was even worse.

Top 20 uni towns that have lost the most money


The following towns and cities will have lost the biggest amount of money in total due to the number of students who live there and how much they spend;

What has the money been lost on?

Below are the reasons why these towns and cities are likely to have lost so much money in the last 6 months;

Both national and local supermarkets have suffered in student towns – we estimate over a billion pounds will have been lost in student towns and cities from grocery stores alone.

Without students, takeaways across student towns and cities may have lost out on as much as £418 million.

A huge £577 million will have been lost from students not going out over the last 6 months, with cities like London taking a £81 million hit from students not being able to venture out.

Whether getting too and from campus or taking a taxi on a night out, students spend a huge amount of money getting where they need to go. £574 million could have been lost from the industry over the last 6 months. In a major city like London, £130 million could have been lost on transport alone.

Clothes & shopping
There’s been little need for students to splash out on new clothes. Shops could have lost as much as £347 million from students not revamping their wardrobes.

Health & wellbeing
With hairdressers, beauty salons and gyms being closed across the country for many months, students weren’t splashing their cash on these luxuries. Across the country, £172 million is likely to have been withheld from this sector.

Gifts & charity
Local charities and independent businesses have suffered from the lack of students too. Charities haven’t stopped needing support despite the pandemic, and yet over £156 million is predicted to have been lost from students giving to charities and buying gifts across the UK.

Laura Rettie, Vice President of Studee, said:
“It’s no wonder the government has been so keen to get students back to university, despite the fact mass movement of young people during a pandemic probably isn’t the wisest course of action. Students bring a huge amount of money into the areas they choose to study in – money many small towns simply can’t afford to lose.

“Students have recently been blamed for coronavirus outbreaks, but we shouldn’t be using students as scapegoats when it was the government who urged them to get back to campus, with no clear guidance about studying online instead. Sadly for many university towns across the country the economic pain is likely to be felt for many years to come.”

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