The price of textbooks is the most annoying aspect of university, according to a new poll of students.

When asked by YouGov about their top bugbears, over 50 per cent of current students said the cost of books and other course essentials as the most worrisome thing about university life. It's much more pressing for current students, too, as only 35 per cent of past students rated it as a top problem.

Age was a large factor in how university experiences were viewed. Previous generations seemed to worry much less about financial issues, and generally had a much more positive outlook on their time at university.

The poll, carried out on behalf of Marbella International University Centre, also found that these worries are particularly concentrated within current students between the ages of 18 and 24. By contrast, respondents aged 55 and over averaged as the least annoyed with their university experience. 40 per cent of this age group answered that they did not find anything annoying about the student life.

Lack of access to teaching staff and outdated facilities were the second and third ranked problems for university students currently. Concerns about accommodation were also highlighted, with 17 per cent of current students identifying lack of cleanliness as a large issue, another 17 per cent complaining about noisy neighbours, and 10 per cent feeling that the distance between their accommodation and their university was a top concern.

Scottish students were found to be the most satisfied cohort of students currently at university. Over a third of respondents at Scottish universities did not identify any aspect of student life as annoying.

Both the perceptions of the university experience and what is expected of the current student population have shifted, leaving the life students lead more worrisome than before.

“For many people the years they spend at university are some of the best of their lives but, as our survey shows, it doesn’t mean they’re without their problems,” said Oscar Martinez Tapia, dean of academic studies at Marbella International University Centre. “The data indicates that [concerns over costs] have become more of a worry in recent times.”

“Students should make sure that they’re claiming all the help that they’re entitled to.”

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