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Are students at home missing out?

17 Jul 2007

Are students at home missing out? Students who choose to live at home are missing out, a new report has suggested.

The study from social research agency Education Research Services (ERS) found a marked rise in the proportion of students opting to live at home.

Many experts are putting this down to financial pressure exerted on undergraduates by increases in tuition fees and rents.

Sarah Parkinson, director of ERS, said: "Our research over the past two years suggests that the number of young students who live in the family home is almost entirely related to increases in tuition fees."

Around 20 per cent of students now choose to remain at home while studying.

This proportion is even greater at new universities, rising to one in four undergraduates.

However, ERS researchers came to some worrying conclusions about the effects of living at home.

Sarah Parkinson, director of ERS, said: "Young people who live at home with their parents are less likely to undertake optional work placements as part of their degree, less likely to undertake graduate level jobs on graduation, less likely to socialise with their fellow students because they remain in their pre-university social groups - and more likely to feel isolated from their peer group at university."

The experience of William Townsend, a recent graduate in maths and computer science from Aston University, seems to support aspects of the ERS study.

He told the Guardian that "the friendships I made have just been acquaintances, really - I've not made the kind of friendships that other people have… people who lived in halls, they did seem to go out a lot and there I was, eight miles away down the road, so I missed out on that."

Some 65 per cent of students who lived at home said they did most or all of their socialising outside the university.

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