15:52 17 August 2010
Hundreds of thousands of students will soon find out if they've got into their university of choice as the results are revealed, and a new study shows that they may come out with more than just a degree.
It's not only their academic future about to be decided; new research released shows it could have a major bearing on their romantic and social future.
The study into university life, commissioned by London South Bank University (LSBU), found 25% of all graduates met their life partner at university, while nearly half (44%) began their closest lifelong friendships.
Among the current 16-24 year-old students questioned, a fifth of women (20.2%) said they had met, or would hope to meet, their husband or life partner at university. While 17.4% of men hoped to find a wife or life partner.
But the romantic and social benefits of university life are just one of many reasons why two thirds of graduates rated university as one of the most influential periods of their lives, ahead of other key periods, including childhood (57.4%), parenthood (46%) and their teenage years (57.2%).
Almost 90% of the graduates questioned agreed that the lessons learned at university "stay with you forever", in the poll of over 2,000 adults, including over 1,000 graduates.
Three quarters of all graduates believe that university life improves their potential by increasing their confidence. A further two thirds say it provides the first taste of an understanding of life away from home, while over half say university gives students a greater cultural awareness.
Eight in 10 graduates recognised the life-long value of a university education academic or vocational stating that university qualifications open doors for the whole of your career. Another quarter of current students say they expect to form life-long industry contacts while they're at university.
LSBU pro vice chancellor Dr Phil Cardew commented: "With so much emphasis given these days to the negative aspects of university, it's heartening to hear from graduates that university actually provides the best footing for long term success in and out of the workplace."
According to the research, nearly half of those surveyed also said university life raises aspirations while nearly 60% agreed job and career prospects are improved after a stint at uni.
National research key findings:
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