Loughborough University is the best value university for students in the UK, according to a new analysis.
The table, released by business consultancy Expert Market, cross-referenced the expenses associated with attending university – including tuition fees, accommodation and even the price of a pint – with the average income and opportunities available to students after graduating from each institution in the UK.
A weighted ranking was then applied to each factor, and the results claim to show which universities give students the best return on their investment.
Loughborough University topped the list due to its low living costs and excellent graduate prospects. The university also came joint first with the University of Warwick for the cheapest annual food costs.
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Richard Taylor, Loughborough University’s chief operating officer, said it was “pleasing to see it independently confirmed that Loughborough offers its students the best return on their educational investment".
With the exception of the University of Bath, the 10 best-value universities are mostly in the North and the Midlands. The University of Bath scored well for graduate prospects which balanced out its fairly high living costs.
Both Cambridge and Oxford failed to make the top 10. Despite having excellent opportunities for graduates, both locations are expensive places to live. It will also come as no surprise that London universities were absent from the top 20, due to the high living costs in the capital.
The highest-ranked London university was St George’s, University of London in 21st place. As a medical school, graduate prospects are among the best in the country, counteracting the increased cost of living in London.
Adelle Kehoe, head of research at Expert Market, said: “This is the first study of its kind to rank universities based on the return on investment they offer. Tuition fees have risen more than 200 per cent since 2007, so return on investment is more important than ever.
“Our study takes into account a broad spectrum of concerns for the prospective student to give a realistic picture of what that establishment has to offer, so that hopefully they can make a more informed decision.”
The table and further information can be viewed here.