University promises to be a chapter of fresh beginnings, unforgettable friendships, life-changing experiences, and boundless opportunities.
Yet, the reality often contrasts this hopeful narrative. For many students, the weight of success and the desire to form meaningful connections can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The Reality

The pages of a report, a collaboration between Accenture and Cibyl, cast a revealing light on the lives of 12,000 students across 140 universities:
- More than 1 in 4 students find themselves without true friends
- More than 1 in 3 students have experienced a decline in their mental health since joining university

The Consequences

For Universities: According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 6.4% of students drop out annually, which results in a staggering £1.69 billion loss in tuition fees damaging both universities and the economy.
But it's more than just financial – high dropout rates tarnish the reputation of universities and cast a shadow over the student experience.
For Students: The impact on students is profound. Dropping out is akin to losing years of personal growth and development.
In the worst cases, poor mental health can result in student suicide, with the Office of National Statistics reporting a rate equivalent to 1 in every 4 days.


Unsurprisingly, friendships and a sense of belonging are positive influences on young people’s mental health.
Students who reported being satisfied with the quality of their friendships were 1.4 times less likely to be currently experiencing mental health challenges than students who reported being dissatisfied.


We know friendships make a difference to positive MH, so UniLink helps students make meaningful connections and relationships through building local communities and encouraging involvement in extra-curricular activities, seeing as loneliness is one of the key contributors to poor mental health and having a strong social group is particularly important for wellbeing of university students.


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