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Hull, Cardiff and Leicester Are Most Affordable University Cities

Half of all students say subject choice is most important factor when deciding which university to attend

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The latest Student Living Index by NatWest has been released, which ranks the UK’s most affordable university cities.

Based on responses to questions posed to over 3,400 students across 35 of the UK’s most popular university cities, the index rates each location based on student spending on groceries, rent and bills, and how much time they spend on studying, working, and socialising.

Hull, located in Yorkshire & the Humber, is the most affordable city according to the index, based on average monthly living and accommodation costs versus average monthly incomes.

The city is followed by Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, and Leicester, a city in the East Midlands.

At the other end of the scale, the index found that students in Liverpool were struggling the most with their monthly outgoings, followed by London.

Average student incomes varied by as much as £400 between cities, with student loans contributing the most to student monthly incomes at an average of £443.40 per month.

By comparison, parents and family, the second highest contributor, provide an average of just £199.70 to a student’s monthly income.

The index also found that subject choice is the most important motivator for students when deciding which university to attend, ranked as the top priority for 50% of those polled, followed by a university’s reputation at 23%.

Additionally, students are prioritising studying over socialising, spending an average of 90.3 hours each month on their studies compared to just 29.7 hours socialising.

NatWest’s index preceded the figures released on yesterday's A level results day by UCAS, which found that a record percentage of 18-year olds in England have been accepted on undergraduate university courses.

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