BBC Home > BBC News > Scotland

Students earn more and pay less

4 August 08 10:54 GMT

Students in Dundee are studying in the most cost-effective place in Scotland, according to a survey.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Student Living Index compared the amount people pay in rent and living expenses with how much they earned in part-time jobs.

It said the average Dundee student spent £218 per week and earned £98. In the most expensive place - Edinburgh - students spent £243 and earned £76.

Dundee came third in the UK-wide cost-effectiveness table.

Plymouth was first and Cambridge was second.

Those in Dundee worked the longest in Scotland, spending 17 hours a week at their part-time job.

Edinburgh students worked the shortest hours at 12 hours a week.

However, those in the capital spent the most time studying - 35 hours a week, compared to 24 in Dundee.

Those in Dundee spent the least on weekly living costs, excluding rent. They shelled out £154, while students in Aberdeen spent the most - £197.

Edinburgh and Glasgow were the most expensive places for housing, with students spending about £76 a week, compared to £63 in Dundee.

Students in Dundee and Aberdeen earned the most from their part-time jobs, at an average of £98 per week.

Across Scotland, 52% of students will have a part-time job when the new academic year starts, and they will earn more than £234.9m.

They will spend £1.4bn on living and accommodation costs.

Aidan Graham, 32, has just graduated after spending 10 years studying at Dundee University for degrees in dentistry and medicine. During his studies he worked on-call at Ninewells Hospital.

He admitted cost of living had an impact on where he chose to study.

"Before I came back for my second degree I had been working in Birmingham for a year," he said.

"I had the option of going there for my second degree and doing a shorter period of time, but the expense of living in Birmingham and property was just enormous and totally disparate between that and Dundee."

He feels Dundee also compares favourably to other Scottish cities.

"Dundee's the fourth largest city in Scotland, so it's relatively small compared to the likes of Glasgow and Edinburgh, so you can live fairly close to the university," he said.

"There are no 'no go' areas for students, you can afford to live almost anywhere in the city and wherever you live it's a fairly short journey into university or nights out.

"Whereas I think some places in Glasgow - you can live a long way away from where you want to be and nights out can be quite an expensive business."

Mark Worthington of RBS said: "Students are increasingly aware of the wider economic climate and this is filtering down into their decisions when they are choosing their university and also when deciding whether to take a part-time job during term-time."

Related BBC sites