Stirling has been ranked 30th out of 35 university cities for affordability, in a study from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The study found that Cardiff was the most affordable university city in the country, while Aberdeen took the top spot among Scottish universities, coming second overall.
Glasgow was ranked the least affordable. The city also stood out as the only place included in the study where students’ average monthly living and accommodation costs outweighed their average income.
The study highlighted Stirling students as the most “fashion-conscious” – the biggest spenders in the country in terms of clothes, shoes and accessories. Students at Stirling spend £38.60 per month on items to wear, £11.20 higher than the UK’s national average and nearly £10 more than Edinburgh, the nearest Scottish rivals.
Stirling students also worked the most part-time hours in the country: 28.6 hours per month on average.
The study calculated a Student Living Index by dividing the average monthly living and accommodation costs for a city’s working students by their average income. Stirling’s Student Living Index was calculated as 0.83, while Cardiff’s was 0.48 and Glasgow’s was 1.02.
As well as topping the list for affordability, Aberdeen and Cardiff also had the students with the highest term time incomes. According to the study, students in Aberdeen bring in an average of £1583.80 during term time, compared to an average of £1030.30 in Stirling and over double the average of £786.60 in Glasgow, which again came at the bottom of the table.
Stirling came second in the UK for income earned with both term time and holiday work. Working Stirling students earned an average of £160.50 during term, and £112.50 during holidays, for a total of £273. Aberdeen once again claimed first place fairly decisively, with a combined total income of £487.10.
While this is the fourth year RBS has released their rankings, this is the first time Stirling has appeared on them. The 2016 list covered only 25 cities, with Portsmouth ranked the most “cost-effective”, and Edinburgh ranked the least.