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Students better off financially in Belfast, says survey

By Josie Clarke

Belfast is the cheapest city in the UK to be a student, according to a survey.

Northern Ireland's capital came out top of the NatWest Student Living Index 2015, followed by Southampton and Nottingham.

This was due to a combination of low average rent and strong income from term-time jobs.

Belfast jumped from being one of the least economical cities in 2010 - when it was 24th - to the best for cash-strapped students in 2015. Rent in Belfast is the lowest by far - £46.22. The UK average is almost double that at £85.31.

Weekly income for Belfast students is £41.97 on average - well above the £32.40 UK average.

To help earn their keep, they work 5.83 hours a week in part-time jobs - again above the 4.34 average. Belfast students also spend the least on groceries (£16) and are at the lower end for socialising - 10.7 hours a week compared to a UK average of 15.53.

However, they have a weekly spend of £12.56 on alcohol - fifth in the UK.

Bizarrely, Belfast students have the highest expenditure on cheerleading at £2.97 a week.

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