After Pascoe’s experience, I know that if you send a student to university with too much stuff, some of it gets lost or misappropriated.
So what can they not do without? Family camping and self-catering trips (is there any other kind of holiday?) have shown that the absolute sine qua non pieces of equipment are a sharp kitchen knife, a functioning can opener and an oyster knife (clearly, trying to open oysters with an ordinary knife can not only irritate the oyster but will wreck the knife).
Strangely, nobody seems to have given either of them an oyster knife yet, but they have enough sharp knives now to start a circus act. These could also be useful in the unfortunate event of post-apocalyptic survivalist scenarios.
Myself, I think I’ll buy them each a pair of stout shoes so they can leave the heap of festering washing-up in the kitchen and simply walk across the quad to the canteen.