Students opt for quality of life over nightlife when choosing University

New survey by Endsleigh:

  • Conscientious students rate quality of course as top reason for choosing a University
  • East Midlands sees the biggest influx of university students

As students start making their way back for the start of the new term, a new survey published today reveals that the majority of students base their decision on which university to attend by the quality of the academic course rather than the overall reputation of the university or, as is often assumed, the town’s nightlife.

Figures released today from Endsleigh, the number one student insurance provider, reveal that three quarters (72%) students take their time at university seriously and base their decision on which university to go to by the quality of course. University reputation was less important with only a fifth (19%) naming it as ‘most important.’ and nightlife is way down the list of priorities with only a third (32%) naming it in their top three reasons.

The survey also asked students about their biggest concerns ahead of the new term. Course related issues topped the list again with nearly half (42%) most worried about not liking their course. Only 5% said that ‘being independent for the first time’ was their biggest worry. The distance from home also influenced university decisions with 42% naming it one of their top three factors.

Endsleigh spokesperson, Vicki O’Connell commented:

“It’s encouraging to see that students put so much priority on the quality of their course over the more thrill-seeking aspects of university life. The fact that so many are un-phased by the idea of being independent, often for the first time, shows how mature and prepared for the next stage of their lives most students are. University life offers students the freedom to make decisions for themselves, discover how they cope in different situations and do things that are outside of academic life. This coupled with the chance to gain a more rounded education creates great opportunities for students to gain life skills and become more employable after university.”

The research also looked at where students live and where they choose to go to university and found that some regions lose significantly more students than they gain during term time:

  • The South East has 8% fewer students arriving in term time than leaving for universities in other regions
  • The area that gains the most students in term time was the East Midlands with a 6% increase, benefitting from its central position and an abundance of large universities such as Loughborough, Nottingham, Leicester and Nottingham Trent
  • Also gaining students during term time are the North East (+4%), Wales (+3%) and the South West (+3%)

Funding life at university was understandably front-of-mind for many students with the overwhelming majority, 77%, relying on a student loan as their primary source of money and 14% mostly relying on help from their parents. Only 3% of students surveyed primarily funded themselves through part-time work but despite this, only a quarter (28%) was worried about not having enough money at university.

NUS President, Aaron Porter, added:

“It is unsurprising that students are placing so much importance on their course these days as that is what their tuition fees are going towards and many will want to get as much as possible out of the academic aspect of university life.

“It is clear that in tough economic times, with tightening budgets and escalating educational costs, a significant proportion of students are concerned about moving away from home. This has the worrying implication that genuine choice and access could be restricted for those who have ability and ambition but who also have limited financial means.”

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