Sharp rise in student living costs in London: Preference for Studying at home

The cost of living is a vital issue in London. The current UK cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, and students are no exception. The sharp rise in the cost of living — including accommodation, transportation, energy bills, and food — is affecting students, particularly in London. Student living costs in London have risen sharply since the beginning of the Covid Crisis. Thus London is not an affordable place for education for most students.        


The cost of living is a critical issue in London. 

The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021. In April 2022, inflation reached its highest recorded level. It is now higher than ever since around 1982, affecting the affordability of goods and services for households (UK Parliament). Polling from Ipsos MORI shows that cost of living in the top issue facing Londoners. Sixty-two percent of Londoners think the cost of living is one of London’s main issues. It is ahead of crime and policing (54%), housing affordability (53%), and the COVID-19 pandemic (51%) (London Data Store).   


Why is London expensive?

As it says in UniAcco, London is expensive because it is the world’s financial capital. It has the headquarters of many major businesses. London’s market captures eastern and western time zones, making it very profitable for companies. This is one of the reasons for London being the world’s financial capital. The booming industry market and the number of visitors yearly make the companies flock to London. This issue increases the living costs in the city.


Student living costs in London skyrockets 

Student living costs in London are rising. According to NatWest Group, the cost of living for students has increased sharply over the last year, especially in London. The 2021 NatWest Student Living Index surveyed 2,300 students across the UK to determine the most affordable place to study. The survey accounts for a range of factors.


The survey included factors such as how much students spend on going and how much time they spend studying. The monthly income for Sheffield students averages £1304.20, with a lower cost for bills and groceries. They’re left with a disposable income of £714 per month. In contrast, London remains the title of the most expensive student city, with a term-time payment of £965.50. After living expenses, activities, and class material, the average London student is left with just £80.20.


Accommodation for Students website (24 February 2022) refers to the results of a survey. The survey revealed that 62% of students in the UK say that the rising costs are affecting their mental health. They worry about paying bills. Moreover, the findings from Save the Student show that university students face enormous challenges with rising energy bills. The platform says that the government does not consider student living conditions.


What is the living cost in London for a student? 

As UniAcco says, there is a lot to consider while making a budget as a student. Students should consider accommodations, transportation, food, choice of downtime, Etc. A significant chunk of students’ monthly expenditure will be on housing. A study found that student living cost in London for a year is £18370 approximately if they wish to live modestly. Otherwise, around £13777 is feasible. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine did the study. The average monthly cost of living in London is approximately £450 for rent and £200 for food. It also includes regular £100-200 for rail travel and £ 60 for bus or tram passes. On average, a student pays £30 for cell connection, £40 for stationery and textbooks, and £75 for clothing. It will cost a student around £10 to enjoy a movie and around £15 for dinner at a restaurant.


Value of teaching in the COVID-19 period

As Vivi Friedgut says in an interview, students are struggling. Vivi Friedgut is the Founder and CEO of Blackbullion. Statistics show that the number of students worried about their money at the height of Covid has remained static. Students feel they don’t have enough money to do what they need. Often the maintenance loan doesn’t even cover the basics of their spending (Unite Students website).


There have been sharp rises in student living costs in London since the beginning of the Covid Crisis. The value of teaching is meagre. The value of instruction is not worth the student living costs in London. As NatWest Group says, COVID-19 caused universities across the UK to take instruction online. In this regard, research has found that 31% of students are very dissatisfied with the value of their online education. Durham received the lowest ranking in terms of value for money. Its students were the most likely to believe that the pandemic would harm their ability to achieve degrees.


Final remark

Michelle Etchells tells the United Students that they surveyed 1,000 parents and 1,000 students. Michelle Etchells is head of Corporate Shared Services at Unite Students. Michelle Etchells says their survey showed that the cost of living crisis affects most students and their parents. Two-thirds of students and nearly three-quarters (73%) of parents are extremely worried about the increased cost of living. This leads to students taking on more part-time work to make ends meet. Most students worry that this will affect their studies (Unite Students website).


As Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman says, pandemics and cost of living crises encourage students to stay at home for university. She adds: “Even with restrictions now lifted; we are still seeing more significance given to financial considerations” (I News). The sharp rise in student living costs in London has made it difficult for students to study in this city. This issue may cause international students not to choose London for their studies.

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