NEW data has revealed that Reading suffered £29 million losses due to the pandemic keeping students away in 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected universities across the world, 13 UK universities are at risk of going bust and 80 per cent of students have struggled financially.

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It's not just universities and students who've suffered though - university towns and cities have also experienced a loss of income when students were forced to move off campus and back to their families when the country first went into lockdown in March.

Partial financial impact lack of students has had on Reading in the past six months:

Reading food takeaways lost £3.8 million

£5.4 million not spent on socialising

£3.8 million lost on transport

£9.2 million not spent on groceries

£2.8 million not spent on buying clothes

UK lost £3.5 billion

Studee researched the true cost of the pandemic for university cities and towns in the last six months.

Lockdown has been tough for all areas of the country, but for those that have a large student population, the pandemic has been "economically catastrophic."

Some towns lost the majority of their communities when students left and millions of pounds went with them.

High streets up and down the UK saw an 18.8 per cent drop of non-food purchases in the three months to August, demonstrating the true cost that Covid-19 had.

What has the money been lost on?


Both national and local supermarkets have suffered in student towns - we estimate over a billion pounds will have been lost in student towns and cities from grocery stores alone.


Without students, takeaways across student towns and cities may have lost out on as much as £418 million.


A huge £577 million will have been lost from students not going out over the last six months, with cities like London taking a £81 million hit from students not being able to venture out.


Whether getting too and from campus or taking a taxi on a night out, students spend a huge amount of money getting where they need to go. £574 million could have been lost from the industry over the last six months.

In a major city like London, £130 million could have been lost on transport alone.

Clothes and shopping

There’s been little need for students to splash out on new clothes.

Shops could have lost as much as £347 million from students not revamping their wardrobes.

Health and wellbeing

With hairdressers, beauty salons and gyms being closed across the country for many months, students weren’t splashing their cash on these luxuries. Across the country, £172 million is likely to have been withheld from this sector.

Gifts and charity

Local charities and independent businesses have suffered from the lack of students too. Charities haven’t stopped needing support despite the pandemic, and yet over £156 million is predicted to have been lost from students giving to charities and buying gifts across the UK.


Laura Rettie, Vice President of Studee, said: "It's no wonder the government has been so keen to get students back to university, despite the fact mass movement of young people during a pandemic probably isn’t the wisest course of action.

"Students bring a huge amount of money into the areas they choose to study in - money many small towns simply can't afford to lose.

"Students have recently been blamed for coronavirus outbreaks, but we shouldn't be using students as scapegoats when it was the government who urged them to get back to campus, with no clear guidance about studying online instead.

"Sadly for many university towns across the country the economic pain is likely to be felt for many years to come."