Students play hard but work hard too

St Andrews students work hard and play hard despite studying in one of the country's most expensive student cities.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th July 2017, 1:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:19 am
Students in St Andrews
Students in St Andrews

These are amongst the conclusions of a recent survey of students finances.

The Student Living Index, carried out by the Royal Bank of Scotland, casts an interesting light on how students at Scotland’s oldest university spend their money – and their time.

In the survey of 35 universities across Scotland, England and Wales, St Andrews came out as the third most expensive for students, behind London and Glasgow.

They need that high income for St Andrews’ students also face one of the highest rent levels. The average monthly rent for a student in the town is £509.44, putting St Andrews at number three in the list, and it’s a long way down to the next most expensive in Scotland – Edinburgh – at number 16. The average rent spend across the 35 universities surveyed is £448 per month.

That might explain why students in St Andrews spend only slightly more than the monthly UK average on alcohol – £40, come mid-chart on their monthly “going out” spend of £22.80, and are the lowest spenders in Scotland on fashion at £22.20.

Despite their lower than average spend on entertainment, St Andrews students still manage to spend a lot of time socialising – at 38.3 hours a month, only Reading students spend more time socialising, and the St Andrews figure is 50 per cent higher than the average. No other Scottish university surveyed even reaches the average.

However, they are the most industrious students in Scotland.

The survey shows students in St Andrews claim to spend more than 118 hours a month with their noses in their books – only Oxbridge students surpass that.

A spokesman for the university commented: “We know our students study hard, and enjoy the unique social life afforded by our intimate environment. However, what this study also clearly shows is that the St Andrews housing market presents a serious challenge for students trying to budget. With accommodation costs chasing London prices, it’s more important than ever that we work together with the local community to progress our multi-million pound accommodation action plan; to provide students with modern, university-managed accommodation and lessen the pressures on the private housing market in the centre of St Andrews.”