University experience might depend on your class

A recent study from Bristol University and UWE Bristol (University of the West of England), has shown interesting results with regards to the experience that students have while in University.

In fact, 40 students from each of the two universities were tracked, interviewed and matched by degree and sex. The researchers have found out that their involvement and activities in the Universities were different and that one of the factors that most influenced their experience was still money. In fact, many middle-school students would go off to do extra-curricular activities, while working-class students wouldn’t so much and would rather get a job to support themselves while studying.

The findings are interesting also because middle-class students tended to think of university as a given, while working-class students would weigh the pros and cons of being a student versus immediately start working. However, the experience that working-class students would get from handling severe financial responsibilities at times is thought to be very helpful for their future career and their personal development.

Many students were also recorded as talking in the interviews about the worries of having a full CV so to boost their chances once leaving the university.

This study is interesting in understanding that even today, the financial situation of young students walking into universities may really affect their development and their overall social experience while studying. Hence, studying the same subject does not mean having the same experience. It would be interesting if future research would follow-up these students and careers and find out what happens once they are out of Uni. Further studies could also analyse several other factors and deepen the understanding of whether students actually get to share experiences and talk amongst themselves, outside of their own social class group.