Students spending millions commuting

Four out of five students live away from their university campus and spend around £50 a month travelling to their studies, new research shows.

July 17, 2013

Commuting travel

Students living off-campus travel an average of 22 miles - 11 miles each way - to attend lectures or tutorials, with one in eight (13 per cent) of students facing a daily round-trip of 40 miles or more, according to a report by the banking group Santander.

Those students who travel 40 miles or more spend an average of £100 a month on their daily commute, the study says.

It uses data collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2010-11, which cover about 1.35 million students, and a YouthSight survey of 1,000 full-time undergraduate students.

The average cost of student travel to and from university is now about £600 a year, the report says.

Twenty per cent of students who live away from home also say they are considering accommodation that is further away from their university campus for next year to save money.

Hetal Parmar, head of banking at Santander, which has branches at many UK universities, said: “Not all students can afford to live near their university and many face a time-consuming and costly commute.

“The cost of attending university puts most students under a great deal of financial pressure, so having to cover the rising cost of transport is likely to be a real burden.” Students are spending a collective £640 million per year commuting to and from university, the research concludes.

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Reader's comments (2)

Students have really taking a beating recently. The least the Govt should do is make a proper student discount Oyster card. The existing student Oyster card is only valid on weekly and monthly tickets but the truth is most university students aren't due on-site every day and rarely on the weekends so it ends up being an empty gesture, and obviously that was the intention. Students need a discounted pay as you go price.
I would be really interested to see the detailed findings of the YouthSight Survey as we at Kingston have recently completed a short research project on Commuter students, funded by AMOSSHE (for more info see I would think that students in the London area spend even more than what is suggested. There are many ways that a University can engage with commuter students that do not cost a lot of money but can really improve their overall experience- such as pre- applicant info on commuting, having specific resources/ spaces aimed at commuters, the timing of and electronic coursework submission, etc. I believe that the student body has changed fairly quickly in terms of shifting from on campus accommodation to commuters but institutions and their procedures, ways of working and facilities haven't adapted that quickly...