Leeds in top three most expensive student cities outside of London as cost of living squeezes student budgets

A new study by Arora Medical Education has revealed that Leeds is in the top three most expensive student cities in the UK.

By Abi Whistance
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:30 pm

A new study by Arora Medical Education has found Leeds to be one of the most expensive cities for students to rent, pay bills and buy food in the country, with students spending an average of £240.35 every week.

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The report used local rent data, utility rates and average food prices to produce its findings, concluding that Leeds rivals southern cities like Exeter (£251.30 per week) and Kent (£249.80 per week) in living costs.

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A new study by Arora Medical Education has found Leeds to be one of the most expensive cities for students to rent, pay bills and buy food in the country.

This comes amidst a cost of living crisis that has seen energy bills rocket across the country, alongside rising food prices and student loan inflation.

Tamzin Kraftman, 22, an MA student at Leeds Beckett University, said: "The money that I've had and have always had is just not stretching as far.

It's impacted my quality of life; I've had to get another job so I have less time to do university work and assessments because I'm having to work in order to afford day to day things like food, whilst still being able to enjoy student life."

A 6.8% rise in the price of meat, oil and animal products has been recorded by the Office For National Statistics (ONS) this week, with only two products monitored by the ONS decreasing in cost over the past year: unprocessed potatoes and audio-visual equipment.

The cost of takeaways and snacks has risen by 6.5%, and to eat out in a restaurant, customers are now expected to pay an extra 8.1% for their bill.

Laura Smith, 22, who is currently studying at the University of Leeds, said that she feels the cost of living squeeze most in her social life: "It is the cost of living, but I can afford to live. It's more the fact that with spending your disposable income you have to think twice now, because going out for a quick lunch isn't cheap anymore."

Inflation has now hit its highest level in 40 years, with British Chambers of Commerce warning that the 9% inflation rate could lead to a recession later this year if nothing is done to combat the rise.

Despite calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies this morning, foreign secretary Liz Truss stated that the investment by energy companies into new operations will help towards preventing further cost of living rises in the future.

"On the subject of the windfall tax, which you asked me about, what I want to see is I want to see those energy companies invest more into new, new operations," Truss said on LBC.

"I think one of the reasons that we’re facing the very serious issue on energy is we haven’t produced enough of our own domestic energy. This is my point that these businesses need to be investing for the future so that we have a resilient energy supply and we’re less susceptible to these energy price shocks in the future.

So, there would be a cost of putting in place a windfall tax rather than seeing that investment in the future of our energy supply."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is considering introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas firms, but so far Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has not done so.