There's no place like home

More and more students are choosing to live with their parents while at university

Brtish students appear to be setting the most unlikely of trends. As thousands of school leavers prepare go to university in the hope of meeting new people and making new friends, a sizeable chunk of them will be keeping rather familiar company.

A report commissioned by Lloyds TSB has found that a significant number of undergraduates are planning for university life with mum and dad. Twenty seven per cent of the 1,000 students polled admitted that they were preparing to stay at home in order to save money. One third claimed that they could not go to university without family support.

Imran Khan is one of the growing number of students that have decided to stay at home. “It was much cheaper to stay here,” says Khan, 19, who studies media at Kingston University. “Staying on campus is expensive and I didn’t want to move out because I didn’t think I would study away from home. Half of the people I know have studied away have failed at uni because they partied too hard. Home life focuses you.”

As 26 per cent of those questioned by Lloyds TSB said that they were worried about managing their money during their studies and said that they would like further guidance, Imran’s decision appears to be a shrewd one. “Living away from home you think you can do whatever you want,” he says. “I had a friend lived on campus. Sometimes he wouldn’t go lectures and seminars or he would turn his work in at the last minute. Eventually he failed and now he is considering taking another course and starting from scratch.”

Khan’s decision to stay at home is less surprising when the cost of student halls in London is considered. An undergraduate can be expected to fork out between £90 and £175 a week to live in the capital. Bill Rammell, the Higher Education minister, says that the Government is trying to make student living more accessible and affordable. As of this autumn, two thirds of eligible new undergraduates will be entitled to a non-repayable maintenance grant of up to £2,835 a year.

“The changes we have made enable an extra 100,000 students, each year, to benefit from some level of grant support while they are at university,” he says. “Together with loans available for tuition fees and living costs and bursaries that universities offer, this improved package of support means nobody should be put off considering higher education for financial reasons.”

Unfortunately these changes have come too late for Stacey Shoucair, an interior design student at London Metropolitan University. Studying from her family home in east London, Shoucair, 22, feels that those living in rented student accommodation are not getting value for money. “I wanted to move out, but then I realised that there was no point,” she says. Like Khan, Shoucair says she would have considered it if it were more affordable. “I’ve seen the rooms, and I don’t understand how they can charge me so much for a little box. “When your rent is taken away you don’t have anything to live on. You find that student loan is going on rent rather than something more constructive.”

But statistics compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) contradict those outlined by Lloyds TSB. Despite the pressures of tuition fees, expensive rental costs and the credit crunch, HESA’s findings suggest that the number of students staying at home has held stable over the last five years.

Indeed, figures from Unite, the student accommodation provider, point to a 9 per cent rise in the number of students taking residence with them this year. This increase is supported by a report that Unite published last year, which found that 62 per cent of the thousand-plus respondents felt that stay at home students were not getting the full benefit of the student experience, particularly for those going into their first year.

Elizabeth Strasman moved into student digs last September. A fine art student at University of East London, Strasman, 22, hails from Cornwall and says that she feels “more comfortable” studying away from home, though it costs her £420 per month. “I can’t speak for anyone who has gone to university close to home but I imagine that they do it because they feel more comfortable at home, whereas I felt more comfortable moving away.

Strasman says that, though it is up to the individual, it is good to challenge yourself by fleeing the nest. “If you ask me it benefits you more if you move away because you are stepping out of the box,” she says. Officials from university admissions body Ucas were eager to stress that the most important thing is for school leavers to research their university choices thoroughly, whether that means staying at home or travelling the length of the country.

But Strasman is confident that she made the right choice. “Moving away has given me more confidence. Some people feel that they can’t leave home but I really appreciated having my own space.”

My story: living at home during uni

Jo Young, 19, studies fashion and textile buying at Huddersfield University. About to begin her second year, Young will live at home, choosing to commute into university.

“If there was any year that I would move out, it would have been my first year,” she says. “But I am not regretting my decision to stay at home at all.” Citing the cost of living as one of the key factors behind her decision, Young was also discouraged by tales of typical student woe. “I spoke to a lot of students and I saw how it can get towards the end of term and how they can’t afford to do an awful lot,” she says.

Young says she may have lost a little bit of independence in electing to remain at the family home, but she still manages to enjoy the student lifestyle. And having lived in Huddersfield her whole life, she says she looks at her hometown afresh. “You see Huddersfield in a whole different light as a student,” she smiles. “You meet so many new people, but you have the advantage that you can be the one showing them around.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

English and Media Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...

Graduate BI Consultant (Business Intelligence) - London

£24000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate BI Consultant (B...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam