There is no denying that student life can be stressful. The pressure to achieve academically; fit in amongst peers and adapt to a new city can feel overwhelming. Add money-worries into this mix, and the situation can soon become toxic. Recent research has revealed that many of the UK’s students are struggling to cope. A survey by Save The Student revealed that 44% of students struggle to keep up with rent, and nearly half (45%) of respondents said their mental health suffered as a result. Further evidence has shown that students are trying to fit more events and activities into their daily lives, as a result 93% of surveyed students claim to suffer from poor sleep. With the cost of living rising, along with course fees, many students are at risk of dropping out of their degree if the stress becomes too much.
A focus on student well-being
This concerning rise in stress and anxiety among students has not gone unnoticed by the Higher Education sector. The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), is now ranking universities with bronze, silver or gold status, based on continuation rates and student satisfaction, alongside employment and further study outcomes. This increased transparency means that it is in the best interests of institutions to focus on how they can provide their students with more than just an education. Progressive universities are now more focused on the services they have in place for their students that will furnish them with key life skills and that will support them, not only during their studies, but into their future working lives
A survey by Save The Student revealed that 44% of students struggle to keep up with rent, and nearly half (45%) of respondents said their mental health suffered as a result
Boosting student services to tackle mental health challenges
Universities are now considering which aspects of their student services programme can be tailored to students who are struggling to cope both emotionally, and financially, with university life. AMOSSHE, the student service organisation, has developed a specific toolkit to help student services advise students on developing resilience in higher education. However, many institutions have found that as well as counselling and advice services, there is a desire from students to learn more about their finances and managing their money while they study.
Financial literacy training can benefit students during their degree. Many enter university without previously needing to understand budgeting or saving. Financial literacy can also help set students up for their future by learning essential knowledge such as the importance of investing wisely, and understanding the meaning of the different types of loans, mortgages, pensions and savings accounts available to them. Giving students access to financial literacy learning opportunities means that they can acquire skills not commonly taught in schools, but ones that will benefit them immensely throughout their lives.
Progressive universities know that in order to appeal to all students, they must demonstrate their ability to deliver a high-quality degree, as well as the support required to make the learning experience fulfilling. Modern students should be able to enter the working world with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in life, the first step towards this begins at university.
By Vivi Friedgut, CEO & Founder of Blackbullion. Click here to find out more.
For more information on Save the Student, please click here