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Push releases figures for 2009 student debt survey

DATE: Monday 17th August 2009

CONTACT: Kate McCann, 020-3176 0377/8

Email: press@push.co.uk

EMBARGO: 00:01, Tuesday 18th August 2009

NEW STUDENTS SHOULD EXPECT TO OWE
£23,500, PUSH SURVEY REVEALS

The UK’s largest survey of student finance, published today on Push.co.uk, reveals that students who started at university last year can expect to owe nearly £21,200 by the time they leave and new students should reckon on at least £2,000 more than that.

The annual survey by Push, the UK’s leading independent resource for prospective students, has found that student debt has topped £5,000 for each year of study for the first time. The inflation-busting increase of 10.6% may in part be down to availability of part-time and temporary jobs during the recession.

The Push Student Debt Survey is the most detailed annual analysis of students’ financial position and this year’s is the largest to date, involving face-to-face interviews with over 2,000 students at 137 university campuses throughout the UK.

Prospective students receiving their A level results on Thursday will be particularly concerned as some sources of income have been drying up while debt rises. Other research by Push.co.uk suggests that 80% of students rely on part-time or holiday jobs to supplement their income by an average of £2,000 a year, but these jobs are getting harder to find.

The different funding arrangements around the UK are also reflected in the data. In Scotland, which has the most generous funding system, debts have actually fallen to £2,194 a year and are much lower than the rest of the UK. Meanwhile, with an average of £5,271, students in England owe £205 for each year more than the national average.

There is considerable variation between individual universities too. The national average projected debt on graduation stands at £15,812, but at 6 universities, the figure has already broken the £25,000 barrier. However, at 20 universities, most of which are in Scotland, borrowing is likely to remain under £10,000.

The figures posted today on Push.co.uk form part of the website’s detailed profiles of every university in the UK, covering every aspect of student life from teaching standards to the price of beer on each campus.

With university clearing starting on Friday, Push.co.uk features exclusive, insider information on finding the right university and tips to give your application the edge. The website also boasts the ‘Uni Chooser’ tool, the uniquely powerful search-and-sort facility which enables students to find the university most suited to them.

Johnny Rich, Editor of Push.co.uk, commented:

With the economy in recession, students are even more concerned about debt than they have been in recent years. Finding part-time work has got harder and many students are facing real financial hardship and are worrying about what lies ahead. Even so, the advantages of having a degree still vastly outweigh the costs and the Push survey shows that – with high quality advice and information – students can keep their debts down while still enjoying the benefits of university.

These figures will give next year’s review of student funding a real headache. They beg the question whether we’ve now passed the point where students can be expected to stump up any more towards their education.”

- ends -

For a full version of The Push Student Debt Survey 2009, visit www.push.co.uk/press/student-debt-survey-2009

For further information including university league tables, top tens, regional and local breakdowns, and interviews with Johnny Rich, Series Editor:

Online: http://www.push.co.uk/press/

Kate McCann: Tel: 020-3176 0377/8

Email: press@push.co.uk

Outside office hours, contact Johnny Rich: 078 1111 4292

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Push was founded in 1992 as an independent organisation that visits every university in the UK every year gathering the country’s largest resource of information for prospective students.

This information is presented in an accessible and user-friendly style and published without fear or favour at www.push.co.uk. The site provides an invaluable resource for anyone hunting for a university place. It features comprehensive information about each university, application and survival advice, financial guidance, forums and a uniquely powerful search function to help applicants identify the right university for them.

In association with Lloyds TSB, each year Push also visits hundred of schools, colleges and sixth forms giving advice direct to students and is a respected supplier of information about higher education to media outlets and businesses.

THE PUSH STUDENT DEBT SURVEY 2009: RESULTS SUMMARY

All groups

 

No. of respondents

Average debt per year

Projected debt on graduation

All groups

2,024

£5,066

£15,812

By year of study

Year of study

No. of respondents

Average debt per year

Projected debt on graduation

1

689

£6,626

£21,198

2

625

£4,740

£15,166

3

494

£4,337

£13,874

4

183

£2,956

£11,824

By country

Country

No. of respondents

Average debt per year

Projected debt on graduation

Wales

130

£4,021

£12,434

Scotland

231

£2,194

£9,844

N Ireland

30

£4,324

£13,299

England

1631

£5,271

£16,159

Comparisons 2004-2008: Average annual debts

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

% change
on 2008

National average

£3,411

£3,428

£3,117

£4,097

£4,530

£5,066

9.6%

Wales

£2,940

£3,144

£3,441

£4,136

£4,021

£4,782

15.9%

Scotland

£2,547

£2,476

£2,283

£2,344

£3,453

£2,194

-36.5%

NI

£820

£820

£3,387

£4,067

£3,061

£4,324

29.2%

England

£3,379

£3,660

£3,200

£4,295

£4,729

£5,271

10.3%

Copyright Push © 2009

Last updated on: 14 August 2009

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