Stirling students could be saving hundreds each month from living at home and remote learning, research has found.
Studying in Stirling is said to cost students up to £595 a month, according to research published by Studee, an education consultancy company.
They revealed on average Stirling students could save £348 a month on rent and £147 on food shops.
Using figures provided by financial advice website Save The Student, they showed the average monthly savings if students studied from home instead of returning to their uni flats.
The news comes as Scotland has entered a national lockdown for the month of January, which has impacted the planned staggered return to universities.
Current Scottish Government advice tells students not to return to their term-time address until face-to-face teaching resumes.
Stirling was below the average figure for Scotland, which Studee’s research showed to be £648 a month.
Students are facing extra financial difficulty during the pandemic.
Data from the National Union of Students showed 61% of students work part-time while studying.
Yet 16-25 year-olds were twice as likely to lose their job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic than older workers.
Responding to the figures, Vice President Communities Joshua Muirhead said:
“The figures released by Studee on the student cost of living highlight the urgent need for a review into the SAAS funding model.
“The figures for the Stirling alone highlight the high cost of living in the area with only £30 per month being left for students in the middle band of SAAS funding.”
Universities across the UK have seen growing unrest as students felt they been led by the government and universities to return to campuses, only to isolate in campus bedrooms and learn online during lockdowns, all while spending money on rent and utilities.
Students held rallies and rent strikes are taking place at over 45 universities across the country.
Laura Rettie, Vice President of Global Communications at Studee said:
“Students have had an incredibly difficult time and are rightfully going to feel aggrieved – the vast majority have been told to stay at home after months of quarantining in university accommodation. They could have studied at home throughout the academic year, without spending additional money on top of tuition fees to live close to or on campus.”
At Stirling, the Stirling Student Tenants Union has started a petition arguing students should not have to pay rent if they cannot access their accommodation.
Stirling students had the fourth-lowest average cost of living in Scotland, according to Studee, paying more than students at Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian and Robert Gordon university