This winter, we conducted a survey open to all Edinburgh College students to get a better idea of their current housing and financial situation.
Those who took part were asked questions which were relevant to their accommodation type around areas such as affordability, safety and access to information. All participating students were also asked questions regarding finance including their employment status, income and ability to save. We used the same questions that we asked students in 2020 so we were able to directly compare the results.
Demographics of participants
Based on those who filled in the Student Housing and Finance Survey, we can begin to get a picture of the living and financial situation of Edinburgh College students.
This survey was undertaken by a total of 676 students who study across each of the college’s four campuses. Last year, we asked students which campus they study at, but due to the vast majority of students learning from home this year, we didn't ask the question.
Living in the family home came out as the most common type of accommodation again this year, with 42.1% of students currently living there. Next in line was those living in a privately rented property, which is 32% of students. This was followed by those living in social housing, homeowners and finally a smaller than normal group of just 1.4% of students who live in halls of residence.
Fortunately, the majority of students who responded to the survey said they are happy with their living situation and an even larger group feel safe. 119 respondents said that they are unhappy with their current housing, and only 42 feel unsafe. While these numbers are very low, there is an interesting gender split when it comes to safety, with 32 of 42 students feeling unsafe at home identifying as female.
Of the 106 students who said they found it stressful to arrange their accommodation for the year, some 65 of these are living in a privately rented property. This could possibly suggest a lack of accessible information for students with regards to private rental accommodation.
Overall, 62% of students find their current accommodation affordable, which is a 5% increase from last year.
The survey results show a significant decrease in the number of students in work, most likely due to the pandemic. The proportion of students in part-time work fell by nearly 10%, making the 'not working' group the biggest cohort this year.
Results also indicate that more students are able to save money, with about 5% fewer students answering ‘never’ when asked about their monthly savings. Additionally, stress levels around money and finance seem to run high although less than last year, which can be seen from the results of rating financial stress on a scale of 1-10..