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Wednesday, July 15, 1998 Published at 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK


Student debt levels soar

More than a third of students have part-time jobs

The debts of students leaving UK universities have risen by more than 20% on last year, according to a survey.

The annual survey from Barclays Bank found that the average student leaves university after three years owing £3,745.

The situation is likely to worsen from September when maintenance grants are abolished and tuition fees of up to £1,000 a year are introduced.

Debt levels have risen over the past year in spite of a rise in the number of students in part-time jobs.

The head of student banking at Barclays, Jenny Lloynds, said students were becoming increasingly realistic about the costs of going to university.

[ image: Most students have saved more than £1,000 before going to university]
Most students have saved more than £1,000 before going to university
"More than three quarters of students expressed no concern about their borrowing levels," she said.

The survey found that more than a third of students earn money from part-time work during term time, while the total number of students working in term time and vacations has risen by 13% over the past year.

On average, students work slightly more than 15 hours a week, but most manage to earn more than the minimum wage - the average student takes home £4 an hour for a part-time job.

Parents remain the main source of income for many students, paying a total of £440m towards their children's education over the past academic year.

This was £37m more than they spent the previous year, in spite of a drop in the number of first years.

But more than half of those students who received a partial maintenance grant from their local education authority did not get the full amount from their parents.

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