Student debt being funded by parents

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(First Edition)

PARENTS are running up debts to pay for their children's higher education, a report published today says. It is now impossible for students to get through university, without financial help from their parents or other sources, according to an annual survey published by Barclays Bank.

Julie Phillips, a Barclays student business officer, based in Plymouth, said parents were increasingly going into debt to help their children. New parents were also thinking about how they would fund higher education.

Parents now shoulder nearly a third of student debt, compared to 26 per cent the previous year. Increasingly however, parents who can afford it, offer the money on a 'no strings' basis. The survey showed that students owed an average of pounds 2,004 by the time they left university, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year.

The survey of 2,286 students also shows that the traditional image of students as carefree is changing, because of financial pressures.

'The most important thing is getting a degree, not having a good time,' Richard Harvey, Barclays' head of youth products, said. 'They also take a very responsible attitude to their debt. When they get a job they live frugally, going without a car or mortgage until their debt is cleared.'

Student Debt Survey 1994; available from public relations dept, Barclays Bank. Tel: 071 696 4242.

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