A recent survey from Studentbeans.com revealed that only 14 per cent of recent graduates saw studying as a priority in their first year of university, in contrast to Kingston University students where 63 per cent prioritise studying over socialising.
The Studentbeans poll revealed that rather than academic work, 59 per cent considered meeting new people as the most important thing about their fresher year at university. However, many students felt that they had a night out too many with 82 percent of the graduates admitting that they could have worked a lot harder.
Commenting on the results, KUSU president Chris Dingle said: “The results of this survey illustrate the huge difference in our demographic compared to other universities nationally.
“We have a large numbers of mature students and students from backgrounds where they are less likely to go to University and as a consequence many of our students will prioritise their academic studies over other activities.”
He added that students still should not forget the importance of social and extracurricular aspects of the university experience which are key to develop employment skills: “When I personally leave University I am sure that the involvement I had with sports, societies and particularly as an officer of the Union will make me stand out more than if I had just studied and not engaged with anything around my course.
It is also important for students to enjoy their time at university and develop social and life skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.”
According to some Kingston students, the shift of priorities at KU could also be linked to the increase in tuition fees 2012, as many students feel the effects of the economic crisis and start to realise how important a good degree for their future is.
Ben Allmark, 19, a sociology and criminology student said: “I’ve come to University to get a degree, not to waste time and money on getting drunk. Times are tough today and I’ve come here for just one reason: To study so that I can get a good job.”
Some students try to balance their workload and social life: “Although I love spending lots of time with my friends, I know that I can’t forget my studies, so we tend to go to the cinema instead of going clubbing the whole night which gives us the opportunity to study and socialise in equal amounts,” said Patrick Wood, 24, a music student.
In our poll, we asked 111 KU students, ranging from first to third year about their priorities at University.