Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Source:OVE.

 Coverage:students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year in universities (whole France), schools of engineering, business and culture, Advanced technician's sections (STS) and classes preparing for admission to Grandes Écoles (CPGE).

The 7th edition of the Student Living Conditions survey by the National Observatory of Student Life (Observatoire national de la vie étudiante - OVE) was completed in spring 2013. About one in ten students were invited, by post, to answer an online questionnaire. Almost 41,000 students participated, a response rate of slightly over 21%. To ensure better representivity, the raw data were weighted according to centralised data on effective enrolments in educational institutions compiled by the statistical departments of the appropriate supervisory ministries. Those surveyed represented the 1,948,265 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year in universities, engineering schools, business schools, schools of culture or in the higher classes of public high schools dependent on the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) (i.e. 82% of the student population in France).

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15 student life: accommodation, independence and standard of living

Two-thirds of students no longer live with their parents, yet this does not necessarily mean that they are completely independent from them. Personal situations (finances and housing) differ considerably and help from families can take many forms. However, independence is often accompanied by greater financial vulnerability.

In 2013, 32% of students were living with their parents, 35% were living alone or in a couple, while 13% were in collective housing (university hall of residence or dormitory) and 12% shared rental accommodation (chart 15.01).

Concerning housing, independence comes gradually with age. Almost half (45%) of under-21s were living in the parental home, compared with only 12% of those aged 24 and over (chart 15.02).

Students are most often found living in the family home in the Paris region and in municipalities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants (chart 15.03). At Bachelor's degree level, this is the case for 46% of students in towns of fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, 57% in Paris and 64% in the inner and outer Paris suburbs. Fewer students are in this situation in medium- and large-sized towns in the provinces (between 22% and 32%). The reasons for these differences are the distance between the parental home and the place of study in the provinces, the appeal of the courses on offer in the large cities, and in the Paris region problems in finding accommodation and the transport situation.

However, students who have left their parents' home have not necessarily severed all ties with them. As proof of this, 32% come back to sleep at their house at least two to three weekends per month (43% for those who are living in collective housing) (chart 15.04), 69% are sometimes or often given food supplies, 32% borrow a car and 75% receive small or large presents from family members.

With equivalent types of living arrangements, students' financial independence shows some contrasting realities from which 4 distinct groups can be formed. 'Economically-dependent and living with parents': they live in their parents' home and have remained economically dependent on their family. They represent 29% of students. 'Economically-dependent and not living with parents': they make up 43% of students. They live in their own accommodation but remain attached to their parents' tax household. 'Economically-independent and living with parents': they live in their parents' home but nevertheless show some signs of material independence (they have a very demanding part-time job not related to their studies and/or complete their own tax return). These are only 3% of students. Lastly, the "Emancipated" (25% of students) live in their own accommodation and show one of the signs of material independence.

Although more than half of students said that they had cut back their spending since the start of the academic year, only 16% considered that they definitely did not have enough money to cover their monthly expenses. According to the indicators of comfort and financial difficulty selected here (table 15.05), some divergences did emerge between categories. Financial fragility indicators (request for emergency aid, cut-backs, financial difficulties) highlight the intermediate situation of those that are 'Economically-dependent and not living with parents' and those that are 'Economically-independent and living with parents'. These categories of students who are independent in residential or financial terms are more likely than those that are 'Economically-dependent and living with parents' to say that they are somewhat financially fragile, although less so than the 'Emancipated' students. Independence is therefore often accompanied by a certain financial fragility and also a lesser degree of satisfaction with their accommodation.

&

📄 Source:OVE.
 Coverage:students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year in universities (whole France), schools of engineering, business and culture, Advanced technician's sections (STS) and classes preparing for admission to Grandes Écoles (CPGE).

How to cite this paper :

BELGHITH Feres, FERRY Odile. Student life: accommodation, independence and standard of living. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 15, 40-41 [Accessed 07/21/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_15-student_life_accommodation_independence_and_standard_of_living-ILL_02.php

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The 7th edition of the Student Living Conditions survey by the National Observatory of Student Life (Observatoire national de la vie étudiante - OVE) was completed in spring 2013. About one in ten students were invited, by post, to answer an online questionnaire. Almost 41,000 students participated, a response rate of slightly over 21%. To ensure better representivity, the raw data were weighted according to centralised data on effective enrolments in educational institutions compiled by the statistical departments of the appropriate supervisory ministries. Those surveyed represented the 1,948,265 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year in universities, engineering schools, business schools, schools of culture or in the higher classes of public high schools dependent on the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) (i.e. 82% of the student population in France).

 

Key figures


Share of students living in the parental home during the university year
32.3%
 
2013
Whole of France
 
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Share of students living in collective housing during the university year
12.7%
 
2013
Whole of France
 
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Share of students who have had (very) serious financial difficulties
25%
 
2013
Whole of France
 
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15.01 Students' housing situation (%)

Parents' home
In a family property
Renting alone
Renting shared housing
Collective housing
Other
  
 
 

12% of students rent shared housing.

📄 Source:OVE
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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15.02 Type of housing according to students' age (%)

Under 21
21-23
24 or over
All
  
Living with parents
Not living with parents
 
 

45% of students under 21 live with their parents.

📄 Source:OVE
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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15.03 Place of study of students in first cycle programmes living with their parents (%)

Paris
Paris region inner suburbs
Paris region outer suburbs
Municipalities of fewer than 100,000 inhabitants
Municipalities of 100,000 to 200,000 inhabitants
Municipalities of 200,000 to 300,000 inhabitants
Municipalities of more than 300,000 inhabitants
All
 
 

57% of Bachelor's degree level students in Paris live with their parents.

📄 Source:OVE
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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15.04 Residential independence of students not living with parents according to type of housing (%)

Renting alone
Renting shared housing
In a family property
Collective housing
Other
All
  
Semi-independent students (not living with parents) 1
Independent students (not living with parents) 2
 
 

30% of students who live in rented accommodation are considered as semi-independent as they say they return to the family home at least two weekends per month.
1 Students not living with parents who say they return to the family home at least 2 weekends per month are considered as semi-independent.
2 Students not living with parents who say they return to the family home one weekend per month at most are considered as independent.

📄 Source:OVE
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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15.05 Indicators of difficulty and comfort (%)

 
Share of students who have
Received payments from family Asked for emergency aid 1 Made cut-backs Used savings Had (very) serious financial problems Enough money to cover monthly expenses 2 Satisfactory accommodation 3
Economically-dependent and living with parents 70 2 44 46 21 45 83
Economically-dependent and not livng with parents 79 3 53 52 22 47 72
Economically-independent and living with parents 43 3 57 54 28 37 75
Emancipated 40 7 57 50 34 35 68
All 66 4 51 49 25 43 75
 

Among economically-dependent and living with parents, 70% receive payments from their family.
1 Welfare benefits from the National Emergency Aid Fund (Fonds national d'aide d'urgence - FNAU), excluding grants and rent subsidies; they are paid annually to students with long-lasting problems or on a one-off basis to students who experience serious problems for a short time only.
2 Share of 'Agree' or 'Completely agree' (%), on a scale of 1 to 5 in answer to the question, 'In general, to what extent do you agree with the proposal "I have enough money to cover my monthly expenses"?'.
3 Share of 'satisfied' and 'very satisfied' (%) on a scale of 1 to 5.

📄 Source:OVE
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
15 - la vie étudiante : logement, indépendance et niveau de vie - Feres Belghith & Odile Ferry
Deux tiers des étudiants ne vivent plus chez leurs parents mais ils ne sont pas pour autant complètement indépendants d’eux. Les situations personnelles (économique et résidentielle) sont contrastées et l’assistance des familles revêt de multiples formes. L’indépendance, cependant, s’accompagne souvent d’une plus grande fragilité économique [Consult the following page in french]


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