Press release: New Students Should Expect To Owe £23,500, PUSH Survey Reveals.

The UK?s largest survey of student finance, published today on, 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 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 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, 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, 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.”

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