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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Students 'own hi-tech gadgets'
Apple iPod listener
Students tend to be up-to-date with the latest technology
Students increasingly own an expensive range of personal items such as MP3 players, iPods, laptops and widescreen televisions, a survey suggests.

A study for Direct Line home insurance shows the average value of students' goods rose 50% over the past 10 years.

In 1996, students had possessions worth 1,900, compared with 2,900 now, the poll of 587 students indicated.

The findings come as students starting courses this autumn will have to pay up to 3,000 a year on tuition fees alone.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by YouGov owned laptop computers, more than half had MP3 players, 48% owned DVD players, 12% had widescreen TVs and 6% owned PDAs.

Luxury good ownership extended to the wardrobe, with students spending 40% more a year on clothing and accessories than on books and essential household appliances, such as kettles and irons.

'Treats'

The survey found 62% "treat themselves" to non-essential items at least once a month, with female students being more likely to splash out (68%) than their male counterparts (57%).

The researchers said students did not view their spending on expensive technology as extravagant but treated study as "a job" for which certain pieces of equipment were essential.

Direct Line Home Insurance spokesman Simon Ziviani said: "The wealth of today's students really is proof that times are changing and that the majority now enjoy a degree of affluence."

A survey published last week suggested most parents and students significantly underestimated the level of debt youngsters would accrue while at university.

The Association of Investment Trust Companies found sixth formers expected to owe about 6,000 when they graduated - less than half the average in reality.




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