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 £146 per week – which works out at around £633 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. The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has two campuses, one in London and one just north of the city, and it's likely the one in the capital that hauls the average rent figure up to a whopping £1,122 a month (almost 1.8 times the national average)!
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In fact, all of the other top five most expensive unis – Ravensbourne, Reading, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Rose Bruford – are situated in (or very close to) London. In the case of the top four, the average weekly rent is £200 or higher, with rent at the fifth most expensive university (Rose Bruford) just beneath that figure at £199.
Both the South East and South West of England are also expensive places to live as a student. Many of the non-London universities towards the top of the table can be found in this region, including the University of Sussex (£178 a week), the University of Surrey (£175 a week) and the University of Exeter (£161 a week).
Cheapest universities for accommodation
Tied as the joint-cheapest universities to live at are Falmouth University and the University of Dundee, with students at both universities reporting an average weekly rent of just £72 (about half the national average).
In fact, the cheaper end of the table is almost entirely dominated by universities based in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland.
Students at six universities reported an average rent of less than £100 a week, with just a small handful of the other cheapest unis for rent being based in the South East or London – the University for the Creative Arts (£118 a week) and Buckinghamshire New University (£120 a week) 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 (£)|
|Royal Veterinary College||259|
|London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine||200|
|Rose Bruford College||199|
|King's College London||191|
|London South Bank||176|
|Imperial College London||168|
|Norwich University of the Arts||165|
|St George's, University of London||157|
|University College London (UCL)||157|
|Liverpool John Moores||153|
|Conservatoire for Dance and Drama*||152|
|London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)*||152|
|City, University of London||151|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||151|
|Trinity St David||148|
|University of the Arts London||148|
|Royal Agricultural University*||147|
|Canterbury Christ Church*||146|
|Medway School of Pharmacy*||146|
|Royal Conservatoire of Scotland||141|
|West of England, Bristol||135|
|Royal Northern College of Music*||134|
|Arts University Bournemouth||131|
|University College Birmingham||128|
|West of Scotland*||127|
|York St John||125|
|Birmingham City University||120|
|Buckinghamshire New University||120|
|University for the Creative Arts||118|
|Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts||105|
|Highlands and Islands||102|
|University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)||101|
* 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.
** There wasn't sufficient data from either university in Northern Ireland to provide a reliable average rent amount, therefore no regional amount is available.
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 £633 per month, but the average Maintenance Loan is just £572. Clearly there's an issue here, and 53% 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.