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Student Accommodation in the UK: Most Affordable Cities

By Guest Writer

Updated March 6, 2016 Updated March 6, 2016

Guest post: Chris Cooley

While university life differs around the world, one global similarity seems to be: it’s not cheap. It’s not just tuition fees that university students have trouble affording. The cost of student accommodation while you’re studying is another pocket-pinching expense for many students. In the UK, the annual cost of tuition nearly trebled in September last year (from £3,290 to £9,000), but the cost of housing has been rising for years. That doesn’t mean affordable housing is impossible to find – but it can be difficult!

Student accommodation in London – and beyond

For students coming from abroad to study in the UK, or residents about to begin a course, it’s nice to know that amongst the bad news surrounding the cost of university life, there ARE places in the UK where you can live and study at a comfortable expense.

Granted, London isn’t at the top of the list. But, many of the best universities in the UK aren’t in the capital, meaning you don’t have to pay London prices to study in a world-class university.

Also, if you want to live cheaply, residing on campus isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it. On-campus living may be convenient and fantastic for your social life but it’s an extremely fast way to drain your bank balance. On the other hand, student accommodation off campus in a rental property isn’t always cheap either, but it may mean you end up spending less overall.

More accommodation options for students

For many students, part of the ‘fun’ of university life is finding ways to scrimp on costs and get the most value for your money. But according to the BBC, money and costs is becoming a huge factor for people in determining whether or not go into higher education in the first place.

According to the BBC, the number of university applications this year has failed to recover since tuition fees were hiked in 2012. While fees don’t look likely to drop anytime soon, for those wanting to study in the UK, you’re going to have to find other ways to save on costs. Working part time throughout your course is an option a lot of people are turning to. And student accommodation off campus is another.

Remember though, not every city is on a par in terms rental prices. Some, namely London, are squeezing the pockets dry of students looking for properties to lease while they study. Others are much more rental friendly. It just depends where you want to and where you can afford to study.

The infographic below, courtesy of Propertywide, will show you how your university city compares to others in the UK when it comes to rental prices for student accommodation.

Chris Cooley graduated from the London College of Communication with a first-class undergraduate degree in Magazine Publishing. He currently resides in London.

This article was originally published in May 2013 . It was last updated in March 2016

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