Fears over rising university fees affecting students’ mental health and wellbeing

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By Sophie Sandberg

A possible rise in tuition fees and living costs have been blamed for adding extra stress and anxiety for students and affecting their mental health.

Figures published by Ucas earlier this month pointed to a nationwide fall in numbers of university applications.

This led to fears that potential students may be put off higher education by the financial strain connected with university studies.

Jags Jutley, 18, a first year Architecture student at DMU said: “If you budget well and do not spend money on ridiculous items it is manageable.

“I feel the student finance should be there to support your basic living arrangements.”

He is concerned,however, about future university students if the tuition fees are to be increased.
“If fees are increased any more, I seriously think I will deter people from attending university due to the fact that they will have debts hanging over them for the rest of their lives which they are unable to pay back comfortably.”

Research has shown that one in seven university students have been chased by debt collectors due to missing rent payments and that this puts extra stress on students.

Trevor Butlin, team leader and university counsellor at De Montfort University, said: “I would say that there may be connections between financial problems and mental problems when it comes to students and not feeling like you’re in control of your life because of your finances can be stressful.pictureh1

“The university has a wide range of support to offer students both from the Student Union, the Money and Welfare centre and the university’s SPA programme.”

The Single Point of Access programme is designed to give DMU students a full assessment of their mental health and wellbeing through a 30-minute counselling session.
Mr. Butlin said: “We can offer help and support with both practical and psychological problems whether that’s about financial issues or other matters.”

If you or someone you know is experience stress or anxiety over being in debt or life at university in general, you can book a counselling appointment at http://www.mygateway.dmu.ac.uk.

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