Keele University's library. Image credit: Mholland/Wikipedia
Keele University in Staffordshire has been named as the most affordable university in the country as it has amongst the cheapest weekly rents and travel costs compared to the rest of the UK.
The findings come from a survey issued by the credit card company marbles.com so that students could make an informed decision when comparing different universities depending on their criteria.
As well as rent and travel pass prices, the survey also focused on the average cost of a gym membership, a cinema ticket, a pint and a kebab at the top 50 university towns across the UK (according to The Times Higher Education League Table 2015/16).
Keele boasted the lowest pint price at £2.50, alongside very reasonable accommodation prices. Other towns and cities that also did well in the survey include Belfast, Loughborough, Birmingham, Glasgow, Lancaster, Leicester and Leeds.
Crazily, gym memberships can range from £6.60 a month in Colchester to a staggering £33 a month in Warwick, while the price of a cinema ticket can be as little as £4.50 in Loughborough to as much as £12 in London, even with a student discount.
The methodology fails to say where the accommodation costs come from, so we don’t know whether this is the average price for a four-bed shared house in the city or university accommodation. The same is true of the pint - it’s not clear whether the pint is bought at the university students’ union or in the town amongst the locals.
If you are applying to university, this survey offers an understanding of the prices you might have to pay at that university, but don’t solely use the figures to arrive at your chosen university. Think about how you might like to spend your money on, and where you might save. For example, Dundee has the lowest travel pass rates at £37.75 a month while London is the most expensive at £130. However, if you were to study at Dundee it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever need to use the bus to get around the city, it being small enough to walk, so you don’t need to consider transport when you factor in your costs. However, in London, you can’t get away from using public transport, so whether you like it or not, you’ll have to stump up the cost.
For a detailed breakdown of all 50 universities, please see below: