Student income and expenditure survey 2014 to 2015: English report

Maher J, Rooney K, Toomse-Smith M, Kiss Z, Pollard E, Williams M, Hillage J, Green M, Huxley C, Hunt W |   | Department for Education (DfE) | Mar 2018

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This report presents the findings of the Student Income and Expenditure Survey 2014/15, which was jointly commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Welsh Government. IES conducted the study in partnership with NatCen Social Research and the report was published by the Department for Education, due to policy responsibility transfer. This report presents the findings for students from England, whilst a separate report presents the findings for students from Wales.

The report presents findings on areas such as income, debt, spending (including living, childcare and housing costs) and whether students were influenced by the cost of fees. Comparisons are made with the 2011/12 'baseline' survey and the report therefore contains interesting findings on the impact of changes to the student financial support package introduced in the 2012/13 academic year.

A detailed account of the research methodology is also included. The study involved, notably, an online survey or telephone interviews with a randomly selected sample of 3,518 full-time and 1,179 part-time English-domiciled students.

Below are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Average total expenditure of part-time students was eight per cent lower than their full-time counterparts - contrasting with the 2011/12 survey where part-time students had 36 per cent higher expenditure than full-time students.

  • Among full-time students, females and those from under-represented groups in higher education were most likely to say they were influenced by the cost of fees. This contrasts with part-time students, where those from intermediate or managerial/professional backgrounds were most likely to say that they were influenced by the cost of fees.

  • Compared with the 2011/12 survey, earnings from paid work remained relatively stable in real terms among both full-time and part-time students.