Four senior managers at Hull University spent a week living in student accommodation on a budget of just £24 to gain first-hand experience of their students' financial problems.
The "students" were denied the comfort of their own washing machines, televisions and private cars, and mobile phones were permitted only for "genuine emergencies". And in true student style, the participants were each given an overdraft facility to extend their weekly budget by an extra £26, as well as the opportunity to earn additional spending money by doing stints behind the union bar.
Dean of science Dave Sewell said his experience had brought home to him the real struggle many students face to avoid debt. "I realised that if students are going to live on less than £25 a week they need to be very cautious about their spending," he said. "This was extremely challenging and I am full of respect for students who do manage."
Dr Sewell saved money by cycling the two miles from his university accommodation and by collecting glasses in the bar, which "earned" him £12. He just managed to avoid using his overdraft facility.