Education & Family

Increase in university students 'working to fund studies'

University Image copyright PA
Image caption More than three-quarters of students surveyed said they worked to help fund their studies

The number of university students working to help fund their studies has risen sharply, a survey has found.

About 77% of students work, up from 59% last year, the study of 4,642 students by insurance firm Endsleigh and the National Union of Students suggested.

It found that students earned an average of £412 a month, with women earning 36% less than men.

Most said they worked part-time, but 14% said they held down full-time jobs during term-time, holidays or both.

More than half (56%) of those with a job said they worked because they had under-estimated the expense of university, especially the cost of accommodation.

A large majority (87%) said developing additional skills and enhancing their CV were also important reasons for working whilst studying.

Parental support

The online survey of 4,642 university students also found:

  • 63% of respondents said that they had a part-time job, while 33% of students worked part-time during term time
  • Male students earned an overall average of £522 a month during term time, compared to £334 for female students
  • 46% of students said they used their overdraft to help make ends meet.

Despite the increase in the number of students with jobs, dependence on other sources of finance has not decreased, the survey suggested.

Just over half of students (53%) said they depended on their parents to help them through university.

Meanwhile 74% said they relied on a student loan as a main source of income, up from 67% last year and 60% in 2013.


Students' annual living costs (outside London)

  • Rent £4,989
  • Food £1,954
  • Household goods £363
  • Insurance £42
  • Personal Items £1,917
  • Travel £1,705
  • Leisure£1,190
  • Total: £12,160

Source: National Union of Students


Universities in England are currently allowed to charge up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees, with repayments to begin once students graduate and earn more than £21,000 a year.

To cover rent, food, travel and any other living costs, students can borrow up to £5,555 outside London and £7,751 for students in London.

In Scotland there are no fees for Scottish students, whilst in Wales the annual fee cap for Welsh students is £3,810. In Northern Ireland, fees for students from Northern Ireland are capped at £3,805.

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