University of Leicester is most affordable university

mortarForget University league tables, what the savviest students (and their parents) are looking at is the latest table of Universities compiled by HSBC, ranking on the cheapest, and most expensive places to live.

Top of the pile is the University of Leicester, which comes in at around two thirds the cost of going to university in London, which is, unsurprisingly, the most expensive place to study.

The research calculated that freshers at Leicester should expect to spend an average of £196 a week on rent and living costs, compared with more than £315 for those attending UCL or Imperial College in That London. While London was top, it was pretty closely followed by Oxford and Brighton.

But don’t be fooled into thinking the south is expensive and the Midlands are a cheap dumping ground. Among the most expensive are the universities of Warwick, Manchester and University of the year Birmingham, where the average cost of living is £255, £262 and £289 a week respectively. And the University of Warwick is in Coventry. Who’d want to go to Coventry? Even their football team moved to Northampton.

HSBC looked at the cost of living at universities in the 20 towns and cities in Britain with the largest student populations. The calculations included the cost of rent in self-catered halls, weekly essentials (food, activities and university supplies), a weekly bus pass and five pints of beer and two bottles of wine. Clearly HSBC doesn’t know any students or they would have swapped the wine for 5 Jaegerbombs instead.

The cheapest halls for first years were found in Newcastle, where the average weekly cost of self-catered accommodation is £87. Close behind are the universities of Leicester and Cardiff, where students can expect to pay £91 and £94 each week respectively. The most expensive self-catered halls are at the University of Oxford, costing £137 per week

The study also looked at the situation for students after their first year, when accommodation costs drop owing to being able to rent privately, rather than staying in University accommodation. The University of Leicester came out well again, with Cardiff offering the cheapest weekly rental rates at £61 per week, just ahead of Leicester (£64) and Coventry (£66)

And while Leicester came top, Nottingham and Cardiff were also in the top three most cost-effective places to study. And if you do want to use the performance league tables as well, most of these cities have prestigious and well-regarded universities in, so you don’t have to compromise on quality while being a cheapskate. If paying £9,000 a year isn’t bargain enough for you, that is…


  • Sawyer
    University of Leicester is most affordable university... ...of the very small number of universities that they looked at. The largest student populations are always going to be in cities which are accordingly expensive. Pretty sure the likes of St Andrews, Durham, Aberystwyth, East Anglia, Lancaster would work out fairly cheap in comparison...
  • Slacker
    It doesn't matter anyway... get the loan, go to whichever University you can get into and drink/shag yourself silly for 4 years, safe in the knowledge that you'll never have to pay it back. Beats working for a living!

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