Edinburgh 4th in league of affordable universities

The University of Edinburgh moved up the rankings for first-year students with costs falling year-on-year by �7 a week. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The University of Edinburgh moved up the rankings for first-year students with costs falling year-on-year by �7 a week. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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SCOTTISH universities are among the most affordable destinations in Britain for first-year students, according to research.

The University of Edinburgh is the fourth most affordable destination for first-years, up from sixth place in 2014.

Meanwhile the University of Glasgow sits in 13th place in the research compiled by HSBC.

The research – which looks at the cost of studying at universities in the top 20 British towns and cities with the largest student populations – shows that first-year students in Edinburgh can expect to spend £228 on average a week. This includes rent in halls, weekly essentials (such as food, activities and university supplies), bus pass, beer and wine.

Edinburgh University has beaten its total costs per week on last year, falling by £7 from £235. As a result, it has moved from the sixth most affordable to fourth most affordable destination for first-year students.

Meanwhile the cost for first-year students in Glasgow stands at £251.

The University of Leicester is in first place for the second year running, with average weekly costs of £192.

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It has been revealed that 28,130 Scots have so far been accepted to university for the coming year. The figures, published by UCAS, represent an increase of 790 or 3 per cent and follow a record 156,000 Higher passes this year.

The trend continues across Britain with 409,000 students already placed in UK higher education – up 3 per cent on 2014.

This is the highest number of acceptances recorded on A level results day, UCAS figures show.

Nuna Syeda, head of current accounts at HSBC: “Preparing for university is very exciting but for many teenagers it may be the first time they have to pay for their living costs. Setting a weekly budget early on can help manage these costs and enable students to enjoy all that university life can offer.”

Only four university destinations offer self-catered accommodation at an average of less than £100 a week: Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leicester and Newcastle. Leicester has the most affordable self-catered accommodation at an average of £81 a week, although Edinburgh was not far behind at £99.

However, once second-year students move into private rented accommodation, the cost of living begins to fall. The University of Edinburgh is the 13th most affordable destination for second-year students at £214 a week, despite being £21 less than the average weekly cost for first-years. This low position is due to the comparatively high cost of private rental student accommodation in Edinburgh.

Glasgow sits just behind in 14th place at a cost of £231 a week.

Education minister Angela Constance said: “Scottish results saw a record number of Scots students accepted to university. This is further positive news for Scottish students and stands Scottish education in very good stead. With an increase in Higher awards and with a record percentage of school-leavers in employment, education or training, this is an exciting time for Scottish education.

“I would like to wish every student starting a course in Scotland this coming semester the very best of success.”


1 University of Leicester £192.07

2 University of Nottingham £212.00

3 University of Cardiff £225.85

4 University of Edinburgh £227.79

5 University of Leeds £228.25

6 University of Bristol £228.28

7 University of Southampton £229.36

8 University of Liverpool £238.03

9 University of Sheffield £242.32

10 University of Cambridge £243.28

11 University of Kent £248.05

12 University of Plymouth £250.01

13 University of Glasgow £251.85

14 University of Newcastle £253.74

15 University of Manchester £255.74

16 University of Warwick £262.03