New research published last week, spearheaded by the University of Southampton and the Solent NHS Trust has found that the rise in tuition fees has had little effect on the mental well-being of students.


The Conservatives’ 2011 fee hike, from £3000 a year to £9000, was by students and academics, but this study suggests the effects on student life may not be as severe as expected.

Dr Thomas Richardson, who led the research, said: “Previous studies have found a relationship between financial difficulties … and poor mental health in British students”, suggesting “it may be the ability to pay the bills, rather than the size of the student loan itself, that is important to wellbeing while at university.”

The study found no difference in long term mental health of students from various fee-paying groups, but found that students paying lower fees showed greater symptoms of alcohol dependence.

Dr Richardson’s study also concluded that eating disorders may be more prevalent in female students suffering financial difficulties. The news comes as Student Minds launch their , aiming to promote a supportive environment for those suffering.

Do you feel more pressured by high tuition fees? Let us know in the comments below!


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  • Hilarious

    “Dr Richardson’s study also concluded that eating disorders may be more prevalent in female students suffering eating disorders.”

    Yes, I can imagine they are.


  • This doesn’t mean much

    Given that students won’t start paying off this debt until they’re out of university and earning enough at work. Hardly surprising that, in the absence of current financial hardship, mental health is unaffected, but that says nothing for the long-term issues that present themselves when you’re struggling beyond university.

    The fee hike hasn’t been around nearly long enough to judge the long-term effects on graduates’ wellbeing.


  • Mills

    The fee hike’s effects on health, if they are negligible, are only so because we never see it, never touch it – it’s never going to be ‘our’ money, so it’s easy enough to explain away. (The government isn’t really seeing it either and really the whole mess is pretty pointless, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish).

    But, like the study says, it’s student maintenance loans and the day to day bill-paying-food-buying money in the pocket that worries me, personally. I work each and every holiday, and can’t sustain myself day to day without help, which I am more than grateful to recieve, but not everyone is so lucky.

    Why is the amount of money that I say I need to receive dictated by something out of my control? Parent’s income or absence of should have no bearing on what I, a supposed adult signing up for a minimum of £27k debt anyway, say I can handle. It’s not my parents’ loan. It’s mine. And if I say I need more than £3,600 a year to live with working lights, running water and food in the fridge – and I’m willing to make a formal loan agreement that says as much – then I should be bloody able to get it.

    Means testing is such bullshit.