Survey: Groningen students remain consistently stressed due to academic pressure

According to a survey by the Groningen Student Union (GSb), the student population in Groningen is just as stressed as it was in 2017. Academic performance pressure is the primary stress factor, followed by the energy and housing crises.

The GSb was surprised that the level of stress experienced by students remained unchanged compared to the previous study. ‘We had expected an increase due to the pandemic’, says president Ken Hesselink. ‘The lack of change does not negate the fact that the overall level of stress is high.’

Another unexpected outcome was that borrowing money from DUO did not contribute to the stress level.

Representative

The research was conducted through a survey completed by 220 students in Groningen. Although the city of Groningen has about 65,000 students, according to the GSb, the number of respondents was sufficient to provide a representative picture.

The research reveals that academic performance pressure is the main cause of stress. ‘People have deadlines, they juggle multiple courses; there’s always the pressure to perform. It shows that the stereotype of the lazy and partying student is not accurate’, says Hesselink.

He therefore praises the measure of Hanze University of Applied Sciences to abolish the binding study advice. ‘We hope that the UG will follow suit.’

Housing and energy

According to the survey, the energy and housing crises also heavily affect the students. Finding accommodation is a daunting task, and students did not receive compensation to compensate for the rising energy prices.

The GSb is actively involved in the plans for student housing on the Zernike campus in the Groningen Youth and Student Housing Covenant. Hesselink says this research is helpful in that regard. ‘We can now present independent, scientific facts.’

They took the first step last Thursday when the GSb handed the report to the boards of Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen. ‘Student well-being is an important issue’, agreed rector magnificus Jacquelien Scherpen. ‘The day before I was appointed, I already had a meeting about it.’

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