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Cost of education weighing heavily on students minds

How much is your future worth? That’s the question facing many students as they look to head to university, over the last couple of years the cost of going to university have risen considerably and it looks like it is taking its toll on students. New research suggests that a fifth of university students, did not go back to continue their courses in January.

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Online voucher retailer My Voucher Codes, looked into the number of students who did not go back after the Christmas break. They found that a massive 20% did not return and a further 7% were not sure if they would make their second year. Figures show in general 7% of university students don’t finish their degrees.

According to the report in the Independent feeling home sick, not enjoying their course and not feeling like they had chosen the right university or course were popular reasons given as to why students didn’t stick. The voucher code retailer spoke to students to find out how they felt about their courses, they found that 73% were confident they were going back for the second term, whilst 20% said they would not be and 7% were undecided.

Those who were not going back cited reasons why:

  • Financial reasons – too expensive, cannot afford to keep going
  • Do not like the course/chosen wrong subject
  • Do not like the university
  • Found full time employment
  • Disenchanted with further education

For those still, undecided or suffering from first term blues, Gareth Hughes, Psychotherapist and Researcher at the University of Derby, offers five top tips for students to help boost their second term experience:

Keep making new friends and trying new things

No matter how many activities and events students cram into the first term, they will still benefit from trying new things and meeting new people. First-year students should try joining some new Student Union clubs and societies. If they are worried about making friends they can contact their University’s Student Wellbeing Service.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

A healthy diet, regular exercise, going outside and the right amount of sleep will help students feel much better about life.

Take control of time management

While trying new activities, students should also make sure they are not doing too much and take control of their time. They should make a timetable – work, play and study – to ensure they have a healthy balance. Rushing to meet a deadline leads to stress and health and other commitments can suffer as a result.

Plan a budget

Students will be less anxious once they know the true state of their finances. They should work out how much they’re going to spend on food each week and stick to that budget. Otherwise, they could be eating like a king at the start of term and recycling their teabags by the end.

Get support

If students are worried and need advice they should seek help from their university’s Student Wellbeing Service, Student Union Advice Centre and the Chaplaincy, who will be happy to support students no matter how large or small their problems seem to be.

The main decision for students is, is the cost worth it for your future? Most students will be paying off their loans well into their thirties, with many not able to start paying them off at least until 5 years after leaving due to competition for leavers and restrictions in wages.

Speaking about the study, Mark Pearson founder of My Voucher Codes said:

“Leaving home for the first time, surrounded by strangers and studying can be too much for some students, coupled with self-doubt and financial worries, so it’s understandable that there is just too much pressure for some students and they end up leaving their course before completion.”

He added:

“For others, gaining a full time job in the sector you wish to work in before you have finished your degree might be a prospect that’s too good to turn down as well, especially with the rising costs associated with gaining a degree. For some students, the costs don’t always outweigh the benefits, especially considering the current job market and issues young people in the UK face can leave many feeling discouraged with the whole further and higher education system.”