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    Oxford revealed as sixth most expensive student city in the world

    New figures reveal that the city was beaten only by New York, Washington, Boston and La Jolla in America, and London

    Oxford has been deemed the sixth most expensive city for students in the world, according to new figures from student.com.

    The city was beaten only by New York, Washington, Boston and La Jolla in America, and London.

    The website this week released its ‘Cities in Focus: Global Student Accommodation Indicator’ report, which reveals the most costly and the most affordable cities for student housing.

    Oxford ranked sixth in the world with an average weekly spend of $288—or around £205—a week on rent at the time of the survey.

    Hull, Dundee and Sunderland were, in contrast, ranked among the most affordable.

    Oxford University, in response to the survey, told Cherwell: “Oxford seeks to recruit the brightest students from the UK and beyond, regardless of background or financial circumstances. We are also aware that Oxford can be an expensive place to live, although it’s important to note that the college system can help lower living costs through rent and food subsidies.

    “Oxford also offers one of the most generous financial support packages of any university in the country, and we think it’s really important that prospective students and their families are aware of the financial support available at Oxford.

    “This includes the Oxford Bursary— awarded automatically to students from low-income households—and the Moritz-Heyman scholarship programme for undergraduates, as well as more than 1,000 fully funded scholarships to assist postgraduates.”

    The University encouraged students to see their website for full details on funding opportunities.

    However, Eden Bailey, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs said: “Oxford is indeed a very expensive city to live in, and though there are extensive bursaries and grants offered across both the University and colleges, there is great disparity between colleges and applicants often aren’t aware of this.”

    Project Access UK, an organisation to encourage students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds to apply to Oxford highlighted the positive effect of their efforts on students struggling with high living costs.

    Oliver Northover-Smith, Magdalen undergraduate and head of Project Access UK told Cherwell: “Project Access is concerned with the impact that high living costs in Oxford and other cities have on prospective students in deterring them from applying. Research by Teach First has demonstrated that cost is a key concern for qualified disadvantaged applicants.

    “However, we would like to emphasise the extent of support available—from the Oxford Bursary to college hardship grants.

    “Headline rent figures can look scary, but going to Oxford may end up being substantially less expensive than attending another university, due to this support.”

    Anna Gross, a former Oriel College undergraduate and co-founder of Project Access said: “We work with students in 20 different countries to ensure that any qualified students, irrespective of socio-economic status, have both the information and help they need to apply for, gain admission to and success at top universities such as Oxford.”

    The report encompassed data from over 8,000 students across the world who booked accommodation in 92 global locations using student.com between November 2015 and October 2016.

    Luke Nolan, founder of student.com, said: “It’s evident that the big urban centres around the world remain huge magnets for both international and domestic students. On average, students pay more to live in these cities, but that’s not to say that there aren’t more affordable options available.”

    “Across Australia, the UK and the US, cities with larger supplies of purpose built student accommodation tend to be, on average, more affordable than cities that are under-supplied.

    “As the market grows we’ll continue to see a more diversified range of options that cater to different budgets.”

    At Mansfield College, the JCR voted to support fourth year students who will not have college-provided accommodation.

    This will mean students across the College will face rent increases as they cover the disparity in cost between college and private sector rent prices.

    The survey follows March’s Lloyds Bank findings which revealed that Oxford house prices are 10.7 times higher than annual income, naming Oxford the most expensive in the country outside of London for the second consecutive year.

    The research found that Oxford’s average property price, £385,372, is 10.7 times that of the city’s average earnings, £36,033.

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