Tuition and living expenses cost each student up to 12,640 euros a year in Flanders
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    Tuition and living expenses cost each student up to 12,640 euros a year in Flanders

    In Flanders, a student who lives in a bedsit and does not have a scholarship forks out 12,640 euros per year on tuition and living expenses, the Budget Advice and Research Centre of the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Mechelen stated on Monday. Young people who commute to and from university spend less: 8,167 per year for non-scholarship students. The difference is due to the cost of accommodation: students pay about 4,152 euros each on their bedsits per year.

    Using one’s own car to commute also adds to the expenses. A solid second-hand car with a gas engine travelling 10,000 kilometres per year costs about 3,230 euros. Public transport is more affordable. The price of a train subscription over an average distance of 26 km is 192 euros, while taking the bus amounts to 210 euros per year for the Buzzy Pazz offer on the De Lijn network.

    Daily necessities such as food, clothing, health care and entertainment do not differ much whether one has one’s own bedsit (at least 6,621 euros per year) or lives with one’s parents (6,302 euros). The difference has to do with food since students living away from their parents cook their own meals, which costs them at least 5.75 euros per day as against 5 euros for those still living with their parents.

    Total student expenses have not changed much since last year.

    In the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, studies cost between 8,000 and 10,000 euros per year, the Federation of Francophone Students (Fef) said on International Students Day last year.

    Accommodation and transport were identified as the main sources of student poverty. In 2016, more than 27,000 French-speaking students had to depend on social integration allowances granted by the the public social service centres, CPAS, to finance their studies.

    Moreover, half of all students work to pay for their studies, according to a 2017 study by the Fef.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times