NatWest's 2015 Student Living Index shows that Belfast is the most affordable city in which to be a student. Northern Ireland’s capital is closely followed by Southampton and Nottingham as cities where the combination of low living costs and the earning potential for term time jobs make for economical University destinations.
Dan Jones, NatWest's Head of Student Accounts said: "Studying at university can be one of the most exciting experiences of people's lives, but as The NatWest Student Living Index shows it can also be a very expensive time. It’s important for us to understand the financial strains of students starting out in higher education, and this index helps to show the different experiences of those studying across the UK. While the results from the 2015 index provide a handy snapshot of student life in 2015, we’d always recommend that students get in touch to speak with our trained advisors, or use our website for useful budget and money management tips to help have fun without overspending.”
Student loans remain the main source of income for students ahead of money from parents but the additional expense of being a student is the main motivation for students to take a part time job. Students at Cambridge and Oxford spend most of their time studying while those at Southampton work the longest hours and receive the most term-time income.
Students were also asked how much they spend on various sports and fitness activities with those at Cambridge, Liverpool and Leicester topping the list. Liverpool and Leicester, along with Birmingham, are the cities where students spend most on hobbies and interests and more money is spent on going out and socialising in Oxford, Cambridge and Newcastle than anywhere else.