UK Students are Europe's laziest

Alex Coke-Woods 13 October 2007

Students at universities in the UK are the laziest in Europe, according to a new report.

A study of 15,000 students conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has shown that the average UK undergraduate can leave university with a 2.1 or a 1st by working for just 25 hours per week.

In other European countries students put in much longer hours for their degrees, with students in France and Germany working for an average of 35 hours each week, the survey found.

Cambridge students may think that they work harder than most, and overall the survey did reflect that Oxbridge undergraduates tended to put in longer hours than students elsewhere in the UK.

However, the study also suggested that shorter terms at Oxford and Cambridge could mean that students’ sense of their overall workload was distorted.

“It is remarkable how consistently Oxford and Cambridge appear to require more effort of their students than other universities,” the report said. “On the other hand, they have fewer weeks in the academic year than other universities, so the extent to which this is so may be exaggerated.”

The report found historians and linguists to be among the laziest students, with average weeks of 22 and 23 hours respectively. Medics were the hardest workers, putting in an average of 36 hours a week – equivalent to a full time job.

But in the report’s survey of the number of hours UK students spend studying, Cambridge came out on top in almost every subject category. The university gained top marks in subjects such as Law, Engineering and History. Cambridge also came third in the competitive field of medicine.

Alex Coke-Woods