Research reveals the most cost effective universities in the UK

by Ray Clancy on September 9, 2015

The UK is one of the most popular countries in the world for international students seeking a high quality degree course and new research shows that Durham University is the UK’s best value.

Going to university in the UK can be expensive, with students from the European Union facing fees of £9,000 a year and more for students from other parts of the world, so finding a university which is cost effective for everything else can be important.

UKmapAn analysis of the UK’s top 20 universities shows that Durham is the most cost effective, followed by Exeter and St Andrews, while the most expensive are University College London, the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Oxford and Birmingham.

The research from price comparison website MoneySuperMarket looked at the cost of accommodation, crime rate, cost of home and car insurance, and the price of a pint at each university to create a ranking of the best value places to study.

Students heading to Lancaster will benefit from the cheapest home contents insurance at £58 a year, while Warwick boasts the best value accommodation, costing just £93 a week. But undergraduates in London will face higher costs with those studying at UCL facing costs of £185 a week for accommodation and students at Imperial College the highest insurance premiums at £106.

Durham has the cheapest pint at £2.10, while those studying close to London in Surrey will pay the most at £5.25. Loughborough offers the lowest cost car insurance at £596 annually, a stark contrast to those attending university in London, who will again see higher costs, with car insurance costing between £1,457 to £1,617 annually.

The rate of car insurance claims made for crime was highest in Edinburgh at 20.8 per 1,000 claims, and lowest in Loughborough at 4.3 per 1,000. Leeds ranked highest for claims for theft from the home, with a rate of 37.8 per 1,000 claims, while students at St Andrews are less likely to make a claim on their home insurance for burglary, with just 6.5 per 1000 claims made for theft in the Scottish town.

“Going to university is life changing, not just for students, but for their parents and families too and managing the financial commitment is a major part of the steep learning curve. Although tuition fees don’t vary a huge amount among the top universities, the cost of accommodation, bills and even the price of a pint differ dramatically,” said Kevin Pratt, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket.

“It makes sense for anyone attending university to think about how to make the most of their money and that means seeking out the best value deals for their car and contents insurance, as well as tracking down the best student bank account,” says Pratt. “Our research found that Durham University gives undergraduates the best deal on living costs, but with average debt totalling £40,000 for most graduates these days, budgeting and smart money management has never been so important, wherever you decide to study.”

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