University terms shake-up idea could benefit student mental health - The Yorkshire Post says

IN a few weeks’ time, thousands of Yorkshire students will be embarking on one of the most important journeys of their lives when they take up places at universities.

Leeds University's Parkinson Building. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Amid the excitement, and the knowledge that the years of study ahead will play a pivotal role in the courses their lives take, there is also a considerable level of stress involved

that can, sadly, leave some young people struggling with their mental health.

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How great a problem this can be was illustrated last year, when Covid restrictions at universities left students isolated in their accommodation. That was a source of immense strain for many and of serious concern to their families.

Looking after the mental health of young people away from home for the first time should be of paramount importance, and so today’s suggestion by the presidents of the Girls’ Schools Association, Samantha Price, of a shake-up of the university admissions system is worthy of serious discussion.

Her proposal to reduce the number of terms from nine to eight, and for students to start university in January, so giving them the chance of several months of work experience, have much to commend them.

The Department of Education has said that is looking at the admissions system, and there is widespread agreement that changes may benefit both universities and their students.

As Ms Price points out, a sensible and imaginative discussion is now needed. The aim of that should be to reduce the number of students suffering mental health issues.

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