Cheapest student cities UK
Cardiff is the cheapest student city in the UK, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2019. Source: Shutterstock

Those who are looking for the cheapest student cities in the UK may want to book their flights to the Welsh capital…

According to the NatWest Student Living Index 2019, Cardiff is the UK’s cheapest student city. In second and third place are Bristol and Leicester.

The survey notes that on average, the cost of living for students has decreased by four percent in the UK between 2018 and 2019, meaning students are finding UK cities more affordable to live in.

Despite this, London remains the least affordable student city, with prices continuing to climb. Meanwhile, Brighton and Hull have also become more expensive, making them less desirable areas for prospective students.

The cheapest student cities in the UK

Ranking City
1 Cardiff 
2 Bristol
3 Leicester
4 Southampton
5 Manchester
6 Norwich
7 Sheffield
8 Exeter
9 Portsmouth
10 Belfast

In terms of income, students in Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and St Andrews rely most on financial support from parents/family or scholarships throughout the semester.

They also spend more time on academic studies and register the highest levels of study-related stress compared to other universities in the country.

Unsurprisingly, Cambridge and Oxford have topped the UK’s ‘time spent studying’ rankings for the past three years.  

A total 62 percent of UK students do not work a part-time job. 

Student finance

Students in London and Aberdeen managed to save the most – over £130 per month on average. Source: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

When it comes to spending, 43 percent of UK students have found themselves running out of money before the end of the semester. Students’ biggest expenditure goes on groceries, spending more than twice as much as they do on anything else.

Meanwhile, one in four UK students find managing their money stressful, especially in Poole and Brighton. Conversely, students in Glasgow and Belfast reported the lowest levels of stress. Students’ attitudes towards money management have remained stable from previous years, with 64 percent still trying to stick to a budget.

Aberystwyth University students are the biggest spenders on alcohol at £50.80 per month – almost twice the UK average. Students at Newcastle University fall slightly behind at £47.40 per month, followed by Northumbria at £46.10.

Conversely, Liverpool students spend the most on going out, with 22 percent spending over £30 last time they went out.

The NatWest Student Living Index 2019 is based on a survey of 3,604 students across 35 university cities in the UK.

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