MILLIONS of parents are counting the cost of helping children through university as new figures show students are still dependent on the bank of mum and dad.

Parents of university students typically give their children £3,446 per year - around £287 per month - to support their studies according to a study by insurance firm Aviva.

This adds up to more than £10,000 on average over a three-year degree although one in 10 parents admitted giving children at university at least £9,000 a year, or £750 per month.

A quarter of parents (23 per cent) gave studying children at least £5,000 per year, or around £417 per month, for accommodation, living costs, fees, text books and travel.

The insurer's survey covered 2,000 parents with children at university or who had been to university in the last 10 years.

Eight out of 10 parents had given their children financial support while studying but most had not saved for it.

A third of parents said their children were also financially supported by other family members or friends with grandparents the most likely contributors, at more than a quarter (27 per cent).

The figures came as it was revealed the percentage of university and college students satisfied with their course has dropped for the first time in years, an annual survey has found.

Some 84 per cent of final-year students said they were content with the overall quality of their courses, down from the record 86 per cent of the previous three years according to the National Student Survey.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), carried out the survey, although a boycott of the survey coordinated by the National Union of Students over tuition fees appeared to have some impact - as only 304,000 respondents took part this year, compared with 312,000 in 2016.

Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE chief executive, said: "The NSS continues to be the largest and most authoritative survey of its kind in the UK."Its role in gathering crucial evidence about the student experience in higher education has been enhanced this year by new questions on student engagement and updated questions to reflect the latest approaches to learning and teaching.

"The 2017 results show that students provide particularly positive feedback on the quality of teaching and on learning opportunities.

"Institutions will also, however, be considering carefully how they can continue to improve assessment and feedback, and their broader engagement with students."

Professor Sir David Bell, chairman of the UK Student Information Advisory Group, said: "These excellent results show that our universities and colleges continue to offer a high-quality experience for their students.

"The revised survey which has been run in 2017 offers new insights on student engagement, a crucial component of a successful experience in higher education."

Of the 460 institutions included in the "satisfaction" part of the questionnaire, 44 of them are listed as being significantly better than their benchmark while 60 were significantly worse.