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Students Are Calling The Shots As University Places Rise

Students Are Calling The Shots As University Places Rise

The number of students accepted by universities is rising to new levels. After a record amount of applications to UCAS, universities are expanding to accommodate the ever-growing mass of prospective students.

Statistically there are a staggering 30,000 more places available at universities in comparison to 2013. This is equivalent to the entire population of the University of Birmingham. It means that, for the first time ever, an expected 500,000 students will be allocated places this autumn.

Although the 500k milestone is still an estimate, already 3% more students have accepted their places in universities than this time last year. Even the slight dip in A and A* grades has not impacted this growth.

It’s down to the fact that universities want to improve and increase in size. To encourage this they are being more flexible with A-Level grade boundaries, lowering expectations, and therefore taking on more students.

This has resulted in what’s been dubbed as a ‘buyer’s market’ for students. Students can now afford to choose their university based on more than course and university reputation alone. They want the perfect student experience. The accommodation has to be contemporary, stylish, and have a full range of facilities, but still be affordable on a student budget.

Low cost is another highly important factor for students to consider. Recently HSBC calculated the weekly cost of living for first year university students by city. The total price includes various student staples such as weekly travel pass, university supplies, 5 pints of beer and two bottles of wine.

Unsurprisingly London topped this table with first years at UCL or Imperial being expected to pay £282.87 per week. Interestingly the average price of accommodation is not the most expensive at £106 (in comparison to 2nd place Oxford’s £137), but it is the cost of essentials and travel which give the capital the dubious honour of being in first place.

The most economical cities on the table are Leicester (at £167.22) and Nottingham (at £182.23) both costing students £100 less per week than living in the capital. Other notably low priced cities include Leeds at £212.40, and Liverpool at £211.20.

There is a clear shift in control from universities to students when it comes to where they study. The easier entry levels contrast with a generation with sophisticated tastes. Offering luxury accommodation is more important than ever as students increasingly are settling only for the best.

Adapted from: