Bristol businesses say the fact students are away for half of the year affects income and is costing the local economy.
Freshers week sees thousands of students arrive ready to begin their degrees.
Some business owners say the number of students arriving in the city needs to be controlled.
Bristol welcomed nearly 9,000 students over the weekend.
Bath University also opened its gates to 8,800 new students and 2,300 freshers started at the University of Gloucestershire.
University of Bristol says it contributes massively to the local economy.
A recent independent report put the economic value of the university to the city at £720m.
The same report also estimates that UoB supports 13,300 jobs in the region.
UoB students Caitlin Marshall and Mary Richardson say they enjoy being a part of the city.
The second-year students say they contribute enough to the local economy to make up for the time when they are away.
Local business owners say the change in population when students leave the area has a massive effect on business.
Overall there are more than 40 thousand full time students in Bristol and that number continues to grow with a new UoB campus for 5,000 students planned near Temple Meads.
UoB says many of its students do contribute to the city year round.
Bristol City Council says it is in discussions to "make sure all communities can grow together".