More than 50 percent of students at some universities now live at home due to soaring tuition fees and extortionate living costs.
However, evidence shows that living at home leads to students feeling like they are not learning as much from their degree and means they miss out on the full university experience, according to The Guardian.
There is also the risk of students feeling overlooked compared to their peers staying in university accommodation, according to Liz Thomas, professor of higher education at Edge Hill University and author of a recent study of the commuter student experience funded by the Student Engagement Partnership.
“Commuter students are an overlooked and often misunderstood group,” she said.
“If you look at prospectuses, there will be pages devoted to accommodation and little if anything for commuters, best routes to get there, where they can park or where they can store their books and equipment.
“I find it shocking that students told us about being locked out of lectures or shouted at if they were held up. I have never been locked out of my office when the train was late.”
By staying at home, students also miss out on a lot of the social aspect of university.
“I didn’t get the opportunity to attend all the fun stuff, because travel is so difficult at night and expensive. Students who don’t move out tend to stay involved in their lives back home rather than make new friends and I think we miss out on a massive experience,” said Zamzam Ibrahim, a finances student at the University of Salford who travels two hours a day from Bolton.
Ibrahim said she missed out on freshers’ week and other events because her parents couldn’t afford for her to pay rent in student accomodation.
“I lived at home because I did not feel my parents could support me financially and the student maintenance loan doesn’t cover the costs if you live in halls. I didn’t take advantage of freshers’ week, for example, because I thought my classes did not start until the next week so it was not worth paying the fares. Now I know that week is crucial for all students.”
She said there is not enough support for students who have caring duties or transport problems, and this must change.