08/09/2016 13:11 BST | Updated 09/09/2017 06:12 BST

Students Can't Handle Their Cash At University - Who's To Blame?

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In a report sure to send shivers down the spine of any parent who momentarily felt pride at seeing their first child go to university, new research has found that millions of students are spending their loans within months - on nights out, clothes, parties, holidays and cars.

So, who is to blame?


Can we for once give the young people of today a break? Is it not enough that their parent's generation butchered the economy with their excessive borrowing and greedy bankers to the point where the majority will never be able to afford their own house? Should't they get this time to enjoy themselves when the harsh reality is that this is probably as good as it's ever going to get for them?

Realistically we can't criticise youngsters when the research found that seven in ten said they were insufficiently taught about finance and were ill-prepared for student life, with nearly a third saying they taught themselves everything they know about how to manage money.


Parents also need to be cut some slack with this one because no matter who's to blame for this situation it's the parents who are going to have to pay for it.

The Research, conducted by Nationwide FlexStudent, found that around one in three students admit they would rather run to their parents when they have no money rather than forego nights out (5%), cut back on their food budget (five per cent), get a job (9%) or do more hours at work (11%).

To compound the issue, 85% of parents admitted they would give their child money if asked, with 68% saying they wouldn't ask for it back.

Unfortunately for parents 'The Bank of Mum and Dad' is not a bottomless pit of cash, many parents are forced to take more extreme measures to ensure their children benefit from a university education, with one in six borrowing money or getting into debt, and one in seven taking a second job or delaying early retirement.

Whilst these figures may leave some parents wishing for a time machine and a pack of Durex it's probably fine to let parents off with being blamed on top of financial ruin.


Bingo! We have a winner! Yesterday, headteachers across the UK made headlines with their military enforcement on school uniform. Students missed hours of education as faculty members played 'Britan's Next Top Model - Student Edition' with many youngsters being sent home because their shoes weren't the right style.

Is it not time that Education Bodies drop the emphasis on enforcing military style uniform and actually teach youngsters some real life skills?

How in 2016 have we gotten to a point where students know more about dressing appropriately than the vital and life long skill of money management?

The cost of living?

Looking back over my time at university one thing is apparent, I wasn't blowing my cash down Bond street. I went to University in London where the cost of living is unrealistic but I went to uni for the lifestyle not the clothes. Money went on experiences not extravagant purchases and let me tell you club entry ain't cheap if you're doing it right and neither is food.

I never relied on my parents but I do think that there should be this shock when students need access to ' The Bank of Mum and Dad'. I don't know what magical thing people assume happen when the clock strikes 18, going to university is the final step towards adulthood, it doesn't happen over night.

Ultimately when it comes to University the truth is you need a damn good overdraft!

Dan King, Nationwide's Head of FlexStudent Current Account, said: "University can be an extremely expensive time for parents and students alike and often parents are expected to cover the shortfall, putting them under increased pressure and resulting in tightening their purse strings.

"For students to manage their own financial situation effectively, they need to understand how finances work and learn to budget, so they can stand on their own two feet."