Credit to Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Glasgow students face second highest cost-of-living in UK

By Jeevan Farthing

A survey of students in the UK has placed Glasgow as one of the most expensive places for students in the country.

New data from the NatWest Student Living Index 2023, collected in May and June of this year, has named Glasgow as the city with the second highest living costs for students in the UK, behind only Edinburgh. The survey – which covered 3,052 students across 63 university towns and cities – determined student living costs by dividing their average monthly living and accommodation costs by their average monthly income.

The data zoomed in on specific spatial variations in student incomes across the UK. Notably, it found that students in Glasgow have, on the whole, the second lowest average monthly term time income of anywhere in the UK, with only students in Edinburgh faring worse. Of the sources which contribute to the incomes of the students surveyed in Glasgow; student loans made up the third lowest proportion of anywhere in the UK, support from parents and family made up the third highest proportion of anywhere in the UK, while bursary/scholarship made up the second lowest proportion of anywhere in the UK, behind only Lincoln. The report also found that 57% of respondents in Glasgow felt that they received no support from their university to help them deal with the cost of living crisis. 

This follows data obtained by The Glasgow Guardian which found, following government cuts, that the average amount of money awarded by the discretionary fund – a service providing financial aid to eligible students – decreased by nearly 70% compared with the previous year.

The NatWest Living Index also found variations in the outgoings of students across the UK. While the data shows that students in Glasgow spend the most per month on nights out and takeaways, the survey also found that students in Glasgow were the most likely of any town or city to make lifestyle changes in order to live within their budget.

This news follows an National Union of Students Scotland report released earlier this year which, based on an online survey, found that over half of students have gone without a meal because they could not afford to eat. 

NUS Scotland President, Ellie Gomersall stated that: “Further and higher education is free in Scotland because we want our education system to be accessible to all…The Scottish Government needs to develop bespoke solutions for students that include increased grants and bursaries, rent controls on student housing, and half-price bus and rail fares for all students.”


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