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A questionnaire-based study regarding the relationship between educational debt, perceived stress and student engagement

Allen, Karis (2012) A questionnaire-based study regarding the relationship between educational debt, perceived stress and student engagement. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

On the 12thOctober 2010 The Browne Review proposed tuition fee caps be removed, since then a resulting 64 UK universities intend to charge the full £9000 allowed by government. Many would agree that debt can have a debilitating effect on one’s life so now 2012 students face up to £53000 of debt (Push Survey, 2011) one must ask what effect this burden could have on today’s undergraduates? The aim of this research was to ascertain whether current levels of debt incurred by HE students influence stress and whether as a result, academic engagement is affected. Stress is defined here as an internal reaction to an environmental stressor (debt) which influences the level of engagement students have with university. One hundred Manchester Metropolitan University students were surveyed using three established psychological scales; the primary predictions were that a positive relationship between debt and stress and a negative relationship between stress and engagement would be observed. Part-time work and socioeconomic status were also considered. Findings partially supported the notion that debt, stress and engagement are connected however, stronger relationships with other variables were also observed, and the implications of this for future research are considered.

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