High Tuition Fees Could Create 'Ghost Towns'

Some university towns and cities could see university populations halve by 2020 because of soaring tuition fees forcing more youngsters to live at home, according to a new report.

The survey by an insurance firm of 1,000 students and parents showed that half of those planning to go to university will choose a local one and stay at home.

The report estimates the number of students living at home will double over the next 10 years and will climb to over 50% by 2030.

In Portsmouth alone it could mean a 41% drop in the student population in the city.

John O'Roarke, from the company behind the research, said: “The report shows how student life is set to be transformed over the next decade, as the impact of rising tuition fees forces university students to reassess their finances and living arrangements.”

Many universities, including Southampton have announced that some students will be charged the maximum £9,000 from next year. Portsmouth raised its fees to £8,500 a year, while Southampton Solent's have gone up to £7,800.

Meanwhile, the list of the country’s best universities is out. Cambridge tops the rankings, which are out of 116. Southampton University is at 14th place, Chichester is 56th , Bournemouth is 62nd , Winchester is 70th  and Portsmouth's uni is 81st . Southampton Solent is down in 111th, only 5 places from the bottom.   

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