High-cost capital is low on attraction

April 12, 2001

London universities may be jeopardising their application rates because of the high cost of their accommodation.

A survey shows that many of the institutions pinpointed as having the most expensive halls of residence also experienced falling numbers in applications according to figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

The National Union of Students names the London School of Economics as having the most expensive self-catering accommodation in the country, at £87.48 a week.

Ucas figures as of March 24 show that the school had 1.3 per cent fewer applicants compared with the same time last year.

Other institutions in the top ten league of accommodation costs saw similar or greater drops in applications.

The University of North London, which has the sixth most expensive self-catering accommodation in the country, saw a 10.8 per cent fall in applications to March.

Universities in a similar situation to the UNL included Queen Mary College, South Bank, King's College London and London Guildhall.

Although a link between applications and accommodation costs has not yet been definitively established, the cost of being a student in London is worrying student leaders.

Scott Rice, president of the University of London Union, said: "Rents are astronomical, and they are still pushing them higher.

"The cost of living in London is the number one question that gets asked at open days."

• Undergraduate trainee teachers are burdened with unprecedented levels of debt, according to the Asscoiation of Teachers and Lecturers.

A survey found that these students typically start their final year £11,000 in the red.


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