Branwen Jeffreys cites Sutton Trust research on student mobility in a comment piece for the BBC.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better for me,” says Anjum James-Francis.
The 20-year-old is in his third year of being a commuter student at Newman University in Birmingham. The university has one of the highest rates of students studying for a degree while living at home. Research published on Tuesday by The Sutton Trust charity warns that cost could be putting off some students from leaving home to study.
But for Anjum, being a commuter student has allowed him to save money, study hard and still have the social life he wants. He’s in his final year of studying for a degree in sport and exercise, before training to be a PE teacher.
“Sometimes you might feel a bit detached, but that’s not always a bad thing,” he says.
“I can leave uni and go home to plan what I need to do, rather than being in a big house with mates where you might just want to have a laugh and a joke.”
The research is based on data from all students in the UK. It says around a quarter of all undergraduates are commuter students. British Pakistani and British Bangladeshi students are over six times more likely than white students to live at home and study nearby. The cost of going to university further away is identified as one of the main reasons for choosing to be a commuter student.
Students from the poorest families are three times more likely to live at home than those from the richest families.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “In the modern economy it is often those who are most mobile who are most likely to find success.
“Moving away to university can be an important first step. Moving to London, or other large cities in the UK, can be an ‘escalator’ for social mobility. But too often, the opportunity to move away to attend university is restricted to those from better off homes.”