How much is student accommodation?
We all know rent gobbles up a huge chunk of Maintenance Loans – but which students have to fork out the most? And which get the best deal? Use our table to find out!
Rent costs are the bane of most students' lives – as soon as that Maintenance Loan drops in your account, you can guarantee the majority of it is going to be hoovered up by rent costs pretty quickly.
But there's no denying some students have it worse off than others. Depending on which university you choose to go to, the rent costs you'll face can differ drastically.
In our recent National Accommodation Survey, we uncovered which students pay the most in rent and, somewhat surprisingly, not all of the universities with the highest costs are in London. But where does your university rank on the rent chart? Read on to find out...
Which universities have the highest rent?
The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £148 per week – which works out at around £641 per month.
As you may expect, the uni with the students paying the most in rent is based in London – or at least part of it is, anyway. With an average rent of a whopping £238 per week, the University of Greenwich turned out to be the most expensive university for accommodation. That's more than 1.6x the national average!
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In fact, the other institutions in the top three most expensive unis – the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – both have an average weekly rent of £200 or higher.
As you can see, another university in Scotland made it into the top five – Glasgow Caledonian University placed fifth, with an average rent of £196 per week.
Interestingly, students at the University of Warwick in the West Midlands reported an average of £197 per week – making it the fourth most expensive university for accommodation.
Cheapest universities for accommodation
The cheapest university to live at is Staffordshire University, with students reporting an average weekly rent of just £80 (just over half the national average).
In fact, the cheaper end of the table is almost entirely dominated by universities based in the Midlands and the North of England.
Students at eight universities reported an average rent of less than £100 a week, with some of the cheapest unis for rent being based in the South East or London – London Metropolitan (£108 a week) and Brunel University (£110 a week) are among the very few.
For a comprehensive picture of the cost of rent at universities across the UK, including your own, search our table below.
Rent costs by university
|University||Average weekly rent (£)|
|London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)||200|
|Imperial College London||190|
|City, University of London*||185|
|Consertvatoire for Dance and Drama*||185|
|Guildhall School of Music and Drama*||185|
|London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine*||185|
|Rose Bruford College*||185|
|Royal Central School of Speech and Drama*||185|
|St George's, University of London*||185|
|University of the Arts London*||185|
|University College London (UCL)||182|
|Royal Conservatoire of Scotland*||180|
|King's College London||165|
|Royal Agricultural University*||164|
|West of England, Bristol*||164|
|Arts University Bournemouth||154|
|University College Birmingham||153|
|Buckinghamshire New University*||152|
|Medway School of Pharmacy*||152|
|Trinity St David*||152|
|University for the Creative Arts*||152|
|Canterbury Christ Church||151|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||147|
|Birmingham City University*||144|
|Royal Northern College of Music*||142|
|London South Bank||136|
|York St John||132|
|Liverpool John Moores||130|
|Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts||126|
|University of Law||110|
|University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)||88|
* In these instances, there were not enough respondents (or too many significant outliers) to give a reliable average. As an indicative amount, we have used the average rent for each university's region.
Does the Maintenance Loan cover the cost of rent?
With rent prices still depressingly high, many students have complained that their Maintenance Loan just doesn't cover it.
Student rent costs an average of £641 per month, but the average Maintenance Loan is just £470. Clearly, there's an issue here, and 56% of students are having to borrow money from their parents, banks and friends (among other sources) to help pay the rent.
It's perhaps not a surprise, therefore, that many students are keen to see an increase in the Maintenance Loan – a motion that we wholeheartedly support.
Students based in London receive more financial support to help them cover the capital's inflated rent costs but, as our research has found, this level of expense isn't exclusive to London.
We've previously reported on students petitioning the government to extend the 'London loan' to other regions with similarly high rent levels but, to date, there's been little sign of progress on this front.
One thing's for sure, though: each year the results of our National Student Accommodation Survey highlight just how tough it is to rent while at uni, and something needs to change – fast.
We've got a whole host of ways to decorate your bedroom on a budget, so you can turn your dingy student house into the palace you deserve.