Average student takes £2000 worth of gadgets to uni

GADGET OVERLOAD: Most students take laptops, smartphones and iPods to uni with them

THE AVERAGE student now takes around £2,000 of belongings to university, with portable gadgets such as laptops and smartphones the most popular, according to new research from student insurance provider Endsleigh.

The survey of 2072 students across England found that the average value of electronic equipment taken to Uni by every students to be £1,981, with laptops proving the most popular item (86% of students own one), closely followed by smartphones, where Android phones (31%) beat iPhones (26%) and BlackBerrys (21%). iPhones, however, proved the most popular amongst their owners with over half considering it their most prized possession, as opposed to BlackBerry and Android owners (24% and 22% respectively).

Endsleigh’s research suggests that students are embracing the latest technology, with very few (5%) now taking a desktop computer to university, whilst tablet PCs (9%) are on the rise. In 2011, almost half of students still had a non-smart phone, but this year’s figures show around 80% have smartphones.

In addition, the number of students bringing CDs this year (32%) is significantly down on 2011 (46%), with the average male student now owning £500 of digital music and the average female £339. Students own £152 of digital text books for their studies, underlining how much they rely on their hi-tech gadgets on a daily basis for both work and play.

Students also revealed the importance of gadgets for keeping in touch with family while at university. 79% of students say they have taught their parents how to use social media with Skype proving the most popular (56%) and 37% saying they have taught mum and dad how to use Facebook – though 46% say that they have had to teach their parents to use e-mail.

Sara Newell, Manager Student Markets at Endsleigh said:

“It’s clear that tech-savvy student’s gadgets play an important part in their university and personal lives; from reading textbooks, to taking photos, to watching TV, to playing games, to staying in touch. As lifestyles become more mobile, the ‘must have’ items have become more portable. Our research shows just how much you rely on a few gadgets, and how easily the value of your possessions accumulates.

“It’s important to remember that items which are lighter and smaller are prone to loss or theft and that’s why students are more likely to need to take advantage of insurance. The chances are you’ll have your smartphone and laptop out and about with you every day so only having cover while you’re in your room simply isn’t enough. Arranging insurance specifically tailored to your lifestyle takes just a few minutes, but the benefits last an awful lot longer.”

Endsleigh’s research found that although 1 in 5 students have their computer lost, stolen or damaged at some point during their time at university, 58% did not back up their university work. Similarly, 1 in 5 students never back up their personal data, meaning if their computers or smartphones are stolen, precious photos, music files, films and games can be lost for good.

Liam Burns, NUS President, said:

“Moving away from home for the first time can mean taking a lot of valuable items with you, many of which you might not be able to live without, as the nature of higher education means students now need more regular access to expensive equipment, such as laptops and tablets. Taking precautions against theft and damage can provide you with valuable peace of mind and ensure that you are not left out of pocket at a time when money can be particularly tight.”

Endsleigh’s top tips to help students keep their possessions safe

  1. Ensure that you check the security of your accommodation when you arrive and raise any safety concerns with the landlord/halls of residence immediately
  2. Always make sure the doors and windows to your room/flat are locked when you leave
  3. Make sure valuables are not left in full view if leaving them unattended any length of time
  4. Try not to draw attention to valuable possessions when walking around the town or campus
  5. Ensure your gadgets and your items in your room are protected with insurance specifically tailored to student’s needs.