New research from Unite Students, the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation, paints a detailed picture of students in 2019, challenging a number of widely-held stereotypes of students as ‘snowflakes’, ‘lazy’ or ‘party animals’.

The report, entitled The Student Yearbook 2019: a snapshot of student life, was co-produced by students and features the views of 2,500 students currently at university across the UK on a range of subjects and themes, to reveal the truth about today’s cohort. The report provides a platform for students to talk about their experiences in their own words and is supported by a series of audio podcasts of conversations on some of the key themes.

The research revealed:

  • Securing a job they are passionate about (62%) and financial stability (59%) are key drivers for going to university, ahead of wealth (13%) or fame (9%)
  • Digital hasn’t killed the lecture. 67% say face-to-face is their preferred format of learning
  • Students’ top 10 concerns in 2019 revealed: environment, mental health & Brexit top the list
  • In addition, they are turning away from traditional parties and activism with 23% unsure what political party they most align with
  • Drinking culture drying out; More students go to lectures than drink alcohol in Freshers’ Week, with one in six students now teetotal

Max Guiton, a Philosophy student who co-produced the report, said: “I was really keen to be involved in putting the Student Yearbook 2019 together with fellow students and Unite as it gives us a chance to explain to people what we are really like. It’s pretty disheartening when you read headlines calling all students ‘snowflakes’ or ‘lazy’, when that doesn’t reflect who you, or your peers are. It’s great to use the survey results to tell people about our experience at university.”

John Blanshard, Chief Customer Officer at Unite commented: “At Unite we welcome over 50,000 students to their new home at university every year. This new data backs up what our people working with students in properties across the UK see every day: that some of the commonly-held stereotypes of students are outdated. Today’s students are more diverse than previous generations and are even uniquely different from each other in their varied experiences and identities. This survey reminds us it’s important that we don’t fall into the trap of thinking about them based on outdated assumptions.”

You can download The Student Yearbook 2019 here.