STUDENTS at Scotland's oldest university are driving ordinary families out of the local housing market, according to research.

The study, by St Andrews University's Centre for Housing Research, has found the success of the 600 year-old institution has meant existing pressures on housing in the Fife town have been increased by an influx of students.

Between 2002 and 2012 the university experienced an unprecedented decade of growth in student and staff numbers which rose, respectively, by 37% and 63%.

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The researchers found that the majority of students get what they want from the local housing market but low-income households were suffering.

Two-thirds of students live in groups of three or more, forming groups that have a combined monthly rent capacity of between £1200 and £1600.

The researchers said: "This combined buying power sets the market and is the economic basis of the displacement of non-students, younger staff and middle-income home-owners from the town."

St Andrews is a popular choice for wealthy students, with children from Britain's top independent schools vying for places with Oxbridge rejects.