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11p Beer, Lava Lamps and Ceefax: The Evolution of Students, 1970s - Now

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To celebrate the mass of eager freshers starting their first weeks of independent life, student insurance provider Endsleigh has created an animated graphic revealing some of the biggest changes in student lifestyle over the past five decades.

The graphic uncovers the mammoth rise in students across the UK - London now contains more students than the UK’s countrywide average in the early 70s, for example, as does Yorkshire.

From handwritten essays to the evolution of Ceefax and the cost of beer, the graphic also highlights key shifts in student living, from fashion and music, to social life and gadgets as well as revealing the phenomenal change in the cost of higher education.

Some key facts include:

  • A leap from 621,000 students attending university in 1970/71 compared to 1.9 million in 2011/12.
  • University was free to all in the 70s and 80s, but now costs an average of £21,000 – with prices reaching £32,000 in some cases for a three year Bachelor’s degree.
  • In the Noughties, teenagers from the poorest families in England were 50% more likely to go to university than they were in the 80s.
The cost of beer has risen from 11p a pint in the early 70s to £4 a pint in 2013.

Kim McGuinness from Endsleigh Insurance, said: “We’ve spent almost 50 years providing tailored insurance to the student market, so have been forward-facing as the student culture has continued to grow and change. The current student lifestyle is a whole world away from what the generation of the 1970s experienced.

"Though the student lifestyle has changed dramatically over the last four decades, the reason people go to university hasn't; students still want a great experience to enhance their skills and to achieve academic success.

“Crucially more people than ever now have the opportunity to go to university and have access to these experiences.”

The journey through the decades also suggests what the future could hold for students.

Alongside The National Union of Students, Endsleigh surveyed over 1,000 students and findings suggest that gadgets and technology will become an even greater part of day-to-day student life. The survey also revealed that on average students carry two gadgets with them every day, with 90% of students carrying a mobile phone with them at all times.

For more information on Endsleigh, visit:

To view the graphic click on the below...

The Evolution of Students

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