Cambridge students are officially the hardest working in the UK
In other news, water is wet
A survey conducted by NatWest on how different students live in the UK has confirmed some of the stereotypes that Cantabs have known to be true for years.
The Student Living Index 2016, compiled by Zenith Optimedia, has ranked 25 different university towns by the amount of income the average student at each institution receives and spends, as well as how much time they spend studying and socialising.
In a not-so-shocking turn of events, it appears Cambridge students are the most studious in the UK, working on average nearly 48 hours per week, with Oxford students studying only a meagre 40 hours per week by comparison. On average, students across the UK studied for 30.77 hours per week, putting Cambridge well in the lead.
More tellingly, each week Cantabs managed to socialise for 7.83 hours per week, just below the average for all UK students of 8.89 hours. In what appears to have become an accidental Varsity match, Cambridge students once again edged their counterparts at Oxford, who only managed to socialise for 7.03 hours each week.
Given Cambridge students therefore spend on average over 50% more time than other UK students working, and socialise as much as other UK students, this has confirmed what seems to be a basic fact of Cambridge life: that Cantabs really do work hard and play hard.
In terms of employment, we work the lowest part time hours compared to all other students at other UK universities surveyed, working only 2.72 hours per week, compared to the national average of 5.73 hours. Cambridge students are still formally forbidden to work within term time by the colleges, and this figure may reflect insignificant earnings, made through college JCR bartending, for example.
Cambridge students each received an average income of £1057 in term time, placing their incomes fourth from the bottom of all UK universities surveyed. Most of us can relate to these stats too, with many feeling the squeeze by the end of term time, with the feeling of desperation sinking in as one tries to withdraw the funds for a Van of Life quesadilla after an expensive night at Life.
The findings call into question the draconian rules on term-time work imposed on Cantabs by their colleges, forcing them to make difficult choices about their incomes.
However, the study flagged up some more puzzling results about Cambridge living.
Apparently, Cambridge students are paying the most for rent in the UK, spending an average of £131.48 per week, with only Oxford students paying more at £135 per week. By comparison, the survey found the UK average rent for students to be around £110.
This revelation contrasts to the conventional wisdom often touted by the Cambridge colleges that subsidised, landlord-free accommodation they provide makes student life ‘affordable’ in the city. These stats perhaps highlight the significance of ‘hidden’ college establishment charges and pricey formals, which may be leaving unwitting Cantabs out of pocket.
The results paradoxically suggested students in London had the lowest weekly accommodation rates, when institutions such as UCL and Imperial College London remain notorious for their high purported rents.
Furthermore, our lowly expenditure on booze may shock and disappoint many frequent Cantab clubbers, given Cambridge placed at a disappointing 20th out of all 25 university towns surveyed, spending only £5.89 on alcohol each week. This may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, especially for many Cantabs who can attest to regularly spending more than that on a bottle of Sainsbury’s House Pinot Grigio and a few Jägerbombs on a night out, and who therefore know the difficulties of swallowing such bitter tastes.
Students of Cambridge also came second last in weekly expenditure on nights out, spending only £4.95 per week. But any Cantab who’s ever bought entry to Lola Lo or Cindies may find this stat confusing, even when ignoring the added costs of drinks, cloak rooms and cab rides home for disaffected Girtonians.
It appears that this survey has however relied upon university students self-reporting their expenditure, so for now we’ll take these findings with a pinch of salt.
Like we do with our pricey tequila shots, we’ll have NatWest know.