By Ben R Nicholson, on 24 March 2014
National Student Money Week (NSWM) was a resounding success during UCL’s concerted participation in the nationwide event between 25th – 27th February. Over the past four weeks, the National Association of Student Money Advisers has been running its annual awareness raising campaign to get the country’s students thinking in a money-smart way. Universities from Bristol and Birmingham, to Leeds and Lincoln held a range of events in conjunction with NSMW and the Student Funding Office at UCL got in on the action too.
The Student Funding Welfare Advisor and other members of the team spent three days in the South Cloisters engaging with students over money issues and challenging them to guess the value of two specially prepared shopping baskets. Each basket contained exactly the same items, but one comprised of Tesco’s value products and the other branded goods. Hundreds of students decided to try their luck with the hope of winning the contents of the baskets if they were closest – indeed, some took their time to estimate the cost of each and every product. Shockingly, the discrepancy in prices was more than what most people imagined with the Tesco’s basket coming in at £17.62 compared to the branded basket being a whopping £63.92.
The two winners managed to get very close, with one coming within 25p of the exact value and the other with a guess that was just 3p off. Alongside taking a stab at the baskets, students were encouraged to pick up a range of freebies and money-saving materials including some ‘4 ingredient’ baking recipes which are no doubt coming in useful already.
In addition to the stall, the Student Funding Welfare Advisor hosted several drop-in sessions to which students could stop by to discuss a variety of financial issues that they may be encountering. This service is just one of the many ways that the Student Funding Office can offer support during a student’s time at UCL.