University freshers lack life skills, says survey

University freshers lack basic life skills, with many never having cooked, cleaned, or shopped for themselves, according to research.

A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg.

More than a fifth (22%) have never shopped for food on their own, while 13% have never done their own ironing.

The results are based on a poll in September 2011 of 512 students starting university in 2011, carried out by OpinionPanel.

It found that for more than half, going to university is cutting the apron strings for the first time, with 57% having never lived away from home.

One in 10 freshers (11%) claimed they do not know how to cook, with 14% having never even boiled an egg.

Many are likely to struggle with cleaning, with one in five having never cleaned a bath or shower before leaving home, and almost one in 10 (9%) had only ever used a dishwasher to clean the dishes.

Sainsbury's also warned today that more than a quarter (25%) of freshers have never budgeted for themselves and 7% have never set up a bank account, with 18% never having opened a savings account.

The research found two-thirds (69%) of new students have never paid a utility bill and 68% have never paid rent before.

Natasha Virtue, from Sainsbury's Finance, said: "Living alone for the first time with the responsibility for studying, managing finances and making new friends can be a daunting prospect.

"We'd urge students to take time to think about their finances, there are lots of helpful tools online for example on the UCAS website itself. Better figure out how to boil that egg too."

PA

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