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Cover could soften the blow

Banks ... budgeting ... benefits. Our guide to making the most of your money at university and, on page 13, as a new graduate
Being mugged or assaulted could be made somewhat less painful if you have a Studentplan insurance policy with Endsleigh (01242 223300). The policy covers pounds 2,000 of belongings against theft from a hall of residence for pounds 26 and includes up to pounds 50,000 of cover for mugging or assault.

The company cites the recent conviction of a gang of muggers in Cambridge as evidence of the benefit of such insurance.

It says theft from accommodation continues to be a problem, with the average claim size steadily increasing as students continue to take valuable equipment, such as computers, to college or university.

For students living out of hall, premiums start at pounds 35 for pounds 2,000 of cover against theft. Other notable features of Studentplan include cover for belongings on a "new-for-old" basis and no need for proof in claims against break-ins. The company also offers a separate Computer Equipment policy with premiums starting at pounds 15 a year for equipment worth up to pounds 500.

An alternative for students to buying their own insurance policy is to get an extension on their parents' policy. Eagle Star says that parents with its Homestar policy can extend it for a premium of pounds 25 to cover a student's possessions up to pounds 500.

Britain's 5 million students have been doing work as varied as singing at weddings, peeling carrots and pig farming this summer, according to a survey by Lloyds Bank. The most common work has been helping out in offices and working in shops, bars or restaurants. The bank reckons personality is the most important factor in getting a summer job, ahead of contacts, perseverance and experience. Only a third of students actually use summer jobs in order to get experience in their planned careers, despite research showing that experience is the key to landing a permanent job.