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Nearly half of UK students “extremely stressed” by their degree, survey shows

Close to half of all UK students feel “extremely stressed” by their degree studies, the 2019 NatWest Student Living Index has revealed.

NatWest asked 3,604 students from 35 top university cities about all aspects of student life, including the stress caused by their degree course and managing money, as well as mental health support.

The data has shown that 1 in 4 students in the UK described managing their money as “extremely stressful”, while 6% felt they received sufficient money management support from their university on average.

Students in Poole felt the most stressed about managing their money, especially when paying household bills that are 75% above the national average, which affected 34% of the students surveyed.

The data comes as students in the UK and around the world are reported to be struggling to support themselves and suffering from high levels of stress, as the cost of rent rises and the value of the maintenance loan declines.

Most respondents felt more stressed studying for their degree than enjoying it, with the happiest students recorded in Aberystwyth and Dundee.

On average, 45% of students in the UK felt “extremely stressed” by their degree, with the highest figure recorded in Cambridge at 60%. Other high ranking cities were Durham, Brighton, Oxford and Leeds.

Overall, 42% of all students said they were “very or slightly concerned” about their financial situation after graduating from university

On the other end, students at St Andrews are the least stressed by their studies, with 22% responding that they were affected.

The Student Living Index also asked students about how satisfied they were with their university’s mental health support resources.

In September, research conducted by former Health Minister Sir Norman Lamb revealed that students with mental health problems have to wait up to 12 weeks for mental health care.

When asked to rate how satisfied they were with the provision of mental health resources on a scale of 1 to 10, St Andrews had the highest number of students selecting 8, 9 or 10, at 47%.

Bristol ranked in last place with 14% of students feeling satisfied with the resources on offer.

Overall, 42% of all students said they were “very or slightly concerned” about their financial situation after graduating from university.

Bruno Genovese, head of Student Accounts at NatWest, said: “Our main priority is to help students stay on top of their finances throughout their studies and the Student Living Index helps students to see how they might budget dependent on where they study.”

Recent data from Advance HE also found that 72% of UK undergraduates disclosing that they have mental health issues in 2017/18 are female, up from 68% in 2013/14.

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