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Title: The psychology of UK student debt
Author: Scott, Adrian J.
ISNI:       0000 0000 3780 9189
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis reports on six empirical chapters investigating the psychology of UK student debt from the perspectives of undergraduates, student bank managers, newspapers, parents with children at university, the general public, and experts in the funding of higher education. Although current undergraduates accept the student loan scheme in principle they feel uncomfortable with the amount they have to borrow. There is no uniform portrayal of students or their debts in the quality press and representations vary according to the focus of articles. Students with borrowings have more tolerant attitudes towards credit and debt; and students with borrowings, who anticipate excessive levels of borrowings, and have monetary difficulties, feel less able to cope with financial pressures. A greater proportion of students experiencing difficulties paying bills suffer from depression, anxiety and stress. The prolonged financial dependency of students impacts on all aspects of the student-parent relationship and can cause friction within the family. Finally, additional resources are needed to fund higher education in the UK and students will brunt the cost. Theoretically, findings suggest money is not fungible, students are short-sighted in their outlook and undergraduates have difficulty managing their finances. Thus, the Behavioural Life-cycle Hypothesis provides a more accurate representation of students' economic behaviour compared to the Life-cycle Hypothesis. On a practical level, student loans and tuition fees are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and prospective students need to be prepared for the financial freedom they will experience at university. Furthermore, loans should be increased to ensure students are able to gain a reasonable standard of living without needing to rely on additional sources. In terms of future research, the cost of a university education is going to continue to rise so it is important to establish what, if any, deterrent effects and long-term consequences this increase will have.
Supervisor: Lewis, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available