Cost of London life threatens study opportunities

March 1, 2002

Students are being priced out of London and the capital's universities are in danger of becoming polarised as a result, says a study for the Greater London Authority.

Claire Callender, professor of social policy at South Bank University, looked specifically at the London data from her survey of student income and expenditure published a year ago.

In London, only wealthy students can afford to pay rent, the study found, and city's full-time students are far more likely than others to live at home, particularly ethnic minority students and those from low-income families.

Professor Callender says: "Being a full-time student in London is becoming impossible for some. It is now just too expensive for those whose parents do not live within commuting distance of London or who, for whatever reason, cannot live at home.

"There is a danger that the student population in London will become polarised along class, income and ethnic lines.

"If new universities rely increasingly on a local intake and students from ethnic minorities while old universities recruit nationally from a predominantly white population, there is a danger that universities in London will become segregated on ethnic lines."

London allowances should be reviewed and extended to part-time students, Professor Callender says.

  • London's student unions and heads of higher and further education colleges in the capital are pressing Transport for London to grant travel concessions to poor part-time students.

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