Student debt is potential ‘timebomb’

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The traditional UK student stereotype has changed and “a timebomb may be ticking”.

Students are more focused on achieving their desired degree, they are socialising less and working fewer hours in part-time jobs, a survey of over 140 universities in the UK found.

This is due to financial pressures, changing attitudes and the perceived value of education received, according to the 2014 Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey.

Almost one in five students in the UK (17 per cent) expect to take on debts in excess of £40,000 while 58 per cent expect at least £20,000 of debt.

Jane Longmore, deputy vice-chancellor at Southampton Solent University, said: “This year’s survey results suggest that a timebomb may be ticking: the percentage of students who think of higher education as ‘the next obvious step’ diminished from 42 per cent among second and third years to 35 per cent among the most recent cohort.

“Would nearly two-thirds of students be drawn to a plausible alternative if their return on investment could be better justified elsewhere?”