Student challenges highlighted in report

Aine Conaty

Minister O'Connor said that data from the survey was critical when making decisions that affected students

The Minister for Higher Education has published a survey involving 20,000 students about their experience in college.

The sixth Eurostudent Survey reports on a number of topics such as how much time students spend on studying and how much money students spend. The survey was set up by the Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor to see how third-level students felt about college.

The survey reveals that the average time Irish “full time students” – both male and female – spend on studying weekly is 37.5 hours. This is broken down into two parts; 20.5 hours spent in taught studies and 17 hours spent on personal study time.

The survey also highlights student’s expenditure. Students generally either rely on previous work or on other means such as their family or grant schemes such as SUSI.

For full-time unemployed undergraduates, 35 per cent of their total income is from their parents or family, 34 per cent is from non-repayable student sources, such as the SUSI grant, and 12 per cent was savings from their previous employment.

For unemployed students, the average monthly income ranges from €542 for full-time undergraduates to €837 for part-time postgraduates. Full-time undergraduate students on average receive €192 per month from their parents/families, and this rises to €316 for full-time postgraduate students.

Respondents reported a high level of financial difficulties. The survey showed that approximately 36 per cent of the total student population say that this is the case.

While a lot of students have said that they experience financial difficulties a lot of students said that they felt like they “fit in” to college.

Commenting on the survey, Mitchell O’ Connor said: “This represents a very useful study into the social dimension of student life, and it will inform what measures we can take to ensure student success, which has so many dependencies.”

Aine Conaty 

Image Credit: Business and Industry

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