WORCESTER lost more than £12.5 million in six months in student spending, research has revealed.

In the city, £1.6 million was not spent on takeaways, £640,00 was lost on people not socialising and a whopping £6.4 million was not spent on groceries.

The figures were revealed by Studee - a website dedicated to helping international students find university places -which looked at the cost of the coronavirus pandemic for university cities and towns in the last six months.

Laura Rettie, vice president of Studee, said: “Students bring a huge amount of money into the areas they choose to study in - money many small towns simply can’t afford to lose.

“Students have recently been blamed for coronavirus outbreaks, but we shouldn’t be using students as scapegoats when it was the government who urged them to get back to campus, with no clear guidance about studying online instead. Sadly for many university towns across the country the economic pain is likely to be felt for many years to come.”

Professor David Green, the university of Worcester’s vice chancellor and chief executive, said: “This report highlights again the vital role the university plays in the city’s prosperity. It shows that what is good for the university is good for the city as a whole.

“I am delighted to say that this year, the university has welcomed more students to study with us than last year. Earlier this year, we were awarded the largest allocation of additional healthcare places in the country. We will soon be educating over 1,000 health professionals every year, who will be working in hospitals and community settings across the region, along with hundreds of teachers to work in the city’s schools and the wider region.

“As well as the valuable contribution our graduates make to the city through their professional work, Worcester students also contribute thousands of hours in very worthwhile volunteering in the city community organisations and charities.

“The university is working hard to help the city and region recover as swiftly as is possible from the pandemic. This is why we are so keen to accelerate the construction work at our emerging Severn Campus for Health, Wellbeing and Inclusive Sport so that vital jobs in construction can be sustained now, while worthwhile jobs in health, inclusive sport, student support, community wellbeing, maintenance and more can be sustained in Worcester for the long-term. ”

Studee says the coronavirus pandemic has affected universities across the world, with 13 UK universities are at risk of going bust and 80 percent of students struggling financially.