Cambridge named UK’s most expensive student city

Catherine Maguire 27 September 2014

Research carried out by the banking group Santander has revealed that Cambridge is the UK’s most expensive student city.

On average, students in the city face living expenses of £10,778 per annum, excluding tuition fees, which – for the majority of current undergraduates – sit at £9,000, triple that of what the matriculating class of 2011 doled out. 

Research findings showed that accommodation, followed by food bills and transport proved to be the biggest expenses for students. 

Jack Wright, Welfare Officer at the Cambridge University Students’ Union called the cost of living in Cambridge "ridiculously high", adding that "mandatory kitchen charges and lack of personal kitchens in Cambridge halls don't allow students access to standard ways of saving on food costs, like big freezer packs of food and bulk cooking."

The University states on its official website that "the University and Colleges are committed to the principle that no suitably qualified UK/EU student should be deterred from applying to Cambridge by their financial circumstances, and that no publicly funded UK/EU student should have to leave because of financial difficulties". The website also added that the University offers "an extensive programme of financial support to ensure our students can meet the cost of their Cambridge education, regardless of background".

"The cost of studying at Cambridge is comparable with the costs at other universities in England, and in fact it can be more cost effective."

The President of the Anglia Ruskin Student’s Union, Daryl Sharpe provides a conflicting narrative. Speaking to The Cambridge News, she admitted that students in the city were turning to charity. 

"We recognise how expensive it is to live here. Some of the house prices in and around Cambridge are levelling out with what you have in London. For students, fees don't come across as money out of your pocket, but here in Cambridge one of the biggest things that has an effect is the rent.

"We’re currently working really, really closely with a local food bank service."