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Students across the country are more likely to base their choice of University on ‘good nightlife and entertainment’ than ‘access to funding and grants’, provocative new research has revealed.
A survey by the student funding website studentcashpoint.co.uk questioned more than 2,000 16-24 year-olds on the factors that would most influence their choice of university. Whilst the top three factors: course choices, academic reputation and location were expected, researchers were concerned to see ‘entertainment’ placed fourth, ahead of seventh placed ‘funding availability’. Of those questioned, only 42% stated they found access to student funding including grants, bursaries and scholarships important.
The results have led to a call for institutions and authorities to make clearer to students the level of additional funding that they could be eligible for. Jeremy Philips, speaking on behalf of studentcashpoint.co.uk, cited “lack of awareness” as a major problem.
“All our research repeatedly highlights the problem that despite millions of pounds worth of funds and grants available, too few students know about them, or are actively finding out how much cash they might be eligible for” said Mr Philips. “We believe hundreds of thousands of UK students every year could be missing out on funding.”
The studentcashpoint.co.uk website aims to challenge this knowledge gap by allowing students to compare the amount of funding available to them at different universities, thus aiding their choice of where to study. The website lists over 3,000 government grants, industrial sponsorships, educational trusts and university bursaries.