Student debts rise

July 12, 1996

Students pay towards their higher education and want value for money. THES reporters look at the university appeals system and what happens when degree courses are not all they were advertised to be. Thrifty school-leavers saved an estimated Pounds 200 million towards their university courses this year, according to the annual Barclays Bank survey.

Fifty-four per cent of first-years had saved an average of Pounds 1,074 each, or Pounds 206 million in total, before starting their degree courses, according to the bank's 1996 Student Debt Survey.

Interviews with 1,478 students from 16 universities revealed that fears over debt had increased to 39 per cent compared to 31 per cent in the 1995 survey.

Thirty-four per cent cited their parents as their main source of income compared to 26 per cent in 1993. Casual term-time work was also more popular with 32 per cent of students working compared to 30 per cent last year. More women (36 per cent) worked than men ( per cent) though they worked fewer hours and earned about Pounds 15 a week less than men.

The average first, second and final-year debt had risen from Pounds 1,502 in 1995 to Pounds 1,982 this year. The total expected debt at the end of a course had increased from Pounds 1,765 in 1992, to Pounds 2,293 last year and Pounds 3,021 this year.

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