According to the UK's number one student accommodation website, accommodationforstudents.com, Cambridge, with an average weekly rent of £124, has been ranked the second most expensive student location in the UK, after London (£140) and ahead of Kingston (£115). Oxford has climbed two places and is now ranked seventh. Wolverhampton (£62), Stockton (£49) and Walsall (£48) offer accommodation with the lowest average weekly rent, none of which are home to universities in the top 30 of the 2016 Complete University Guide's top UK universities.
The website has released its annual report, revealing that the average student rent for 2015 is £82.09 a week. A £1.43 increase from 2014, this figure is less than the cheapest weekly accomodation cost at several colleges, including Emmanuel (£93.20), Gonville and Caius (£138), and Newnham (£146.70).
A Peterhouse first-year raised the point that Cambridge students also have to face the hidden costs of moving in and out every 10 weeks. ''There is a massive disparity across colleges in domestic matters like access to storage. At Peterhouse we get none, so if you don't own a car, you either have to rent one, take all your stuff on public transport or put it into private storage. Plus there's the cost of fuel, getting there and back. It costs me several hundred pounds each time.''
The differences between colleges have been noted before – a TCS investigation in Lent revealed that the average weekly rent can vary from college to college by as much as £67. A student from Murray Edwards commented that she ''wouldn't mind the money or the seeming monopoly that the University has on the student housing market in Cambridge so much if there were some basic sort of parity between the prices of the colleges. To speak of an 'average weekly rent' in Cambridge is meaningless, and the system is unfair for those of us who are paying through our teeth for the privilege of attending a less wealthy, less well-renowned college.''
Six of the 2016 Complete University Guide's top UK universities (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, London
School of Economics, Exeter and University of Surrey) are in the top 10 most expensive cities for accomodation. Students at these universities are likely to pay on average between £20 and £58 more per week than the national average.
Simon Thompson, Director of Accommodation for Students said that "it is interesting to see that there appears to be some correlation between the highest ranked universities and cost of student accommodation.''