University of Portsmouth could see student numbers halved

From left, University of Portsmouth head of brand strategy and corporate communications Emma Fields, Portsmouth FC commercial director Anna Mitchell, university governor and former Portsmouth FC President David Willan, football club CEO Mark Catlin and university vice chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith

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PORTSMOUTH could see its university population almost halve by 2020 because of soaring tuition fees forcing more youngsters to live at home, a new report said.

A study by insurance firm LV= suggested that some areas such as Portsmouth as well as Sheffield, Lincoln and Newcastle-upon-Tyne will see the greatest decline in student populations.

The city’s university could see its numbers fall by as much as 41 per cent, says the report.

The survey of 1,000 students and parents showed half of youngsters planning to go to university will choose a local one and stay at home.

The number of students living at home will double to 47 per cent over the next 10 years and will climb to over 50 per cent by 2030, it was estimated.

The increase in tuition fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year, coupled with falling numbers of 18 to 24-year-olds will see a 14 per cent decline in student numbers over the next decade, said the report.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: ‘The student towns 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.’