Shock news - students are lazy

After undertaking a survey of 15,000 undergraduates across Europe, researchers at the Higher Education Policy Institute (specialist subject, the bleedin’ obvious) have come to the earth-shattering conclusion that quite a lot of students are bone idle. You don’t say?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010
And what’s more, English students are quite the laziest of the lot, studying for a distinctly part-time average of 25 hours a week (including private study time) on first degree courses that last typically for ‘only’ three years. Which would explain why there always seem to be so many of them in the pub at lunchtime (before you ask, our visit was strictly professional. We journalists have to stand up our stories, you know). 

That’s even less time that the Portuguese – an estimable country in so many ways but one hardly noted for a rigid work ethic. There, students manage to put in 40 hours a week. Sadly the survey does not reveal how fair Albion’s finest compare with their immediate rivals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – although empirical data gathered from MT’s own sources suggests a similarly lackadaisical state of affairs may pertain there, too.

Thankfully, there are some hardworking undergrads taking their studies seriously to be found. In Germany, where else? There, freshers are faced with a gruelling 35 hour a week, seven year long slog to get their first degree. Doubtless they emerge extremely well trained (although that’s not quite the same thing as being educated), but we can’t help thinking that that’s a very long time for so many bright youngsters to be economically inactive.

Joking aside, the HEPI reckons that this sad state of affairs could have serious consequences for the international reputations of English universities, as the quality and quantity of study elsewhere gains ground at their expense. We’ll drink to that.

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