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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005, 23:33 GMT 00:33 UK
Students 'to spend 9bn in year'
Students are expected to spend 342m on books and study aids
UK students will spend 9bn over the next year, with about 3.5bn going on rent, a study suggests.

But they are expected to earn 1.7bn from part-time work, with 40% in jobs, the Royal Bank of Scotland said.

London was the most cost-effective city to study and work in, as higher wages outweighed the living costs, with Liverpool and Birmingham next, it said.

St Andrews, where Prince William was an undergraduate, was the least cost-effective of 24 towns studied.

Earnings gap

The research shows the average London undergraduate spends 243 a week on living and housing costs, but earns 150 from part-time work, leaving a gap of 93.

At St Andrews, the figures were 190 and 63, a gap of 127 - making students there 34 a week worse off than their London counterparts.

Of the 9bn to be spent next year by students, RBS said about 3.5bn would go on rent.

Another 1bn is expected to go on supermarket food shopping, 722m on going out, 342m on books and course materials, and 198m on music and CDs.

According to the study, the hardest-working students are in Belfast and Glasgow, where 68% and 58% respectively have term-time employment.

On average, those with a part-time job work 16 hours per week, although 31% work more than 20 hours.

The recent study by the Association of Investment Trust Companies found students expected to leave university with an average debt of 7,208, while parents estimated it would be 9,741.

However, both were well short of the actual average debt a student has on graduating, which is 13,501.

The RBS survey is based on interviews with 2,639 undergraduates.

Student earnings league
'Cost-effective' towns for students, in ranking order
1 London
2 Liverpool
3 Birmingham
4 Manchester
5 Sheffield
6 Cardiff
7 Coventry
8 Southampton
9 Dundee
10 Leicester
11 Leeds
12 Oxford
13 Glasgow
14 Nottingham
15 Aberdeen
16 Durham
17 York
18 Cambridge
19 Edinburgh
20 Brighton
21 Belfast
22 Newcastle
23 Bristol
24 St Andrews
Source: Royal Bank of Scotland

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