University students in the UK today

Students working in library
Picture by Elayne Fluker
A survey, whose results have been made public recently, contradicts the long-held perception of university students as more interested in socializing and partying than in working hard and keeping healthy habits. It also shows how much the university experience has changed; it is now more separatist and less centered around campus than it used to be.
According to the survey, three-quarters of the UK’s 1.2 million undergraduates view university as a way of improving their potential for a well-paid job. Money is also a preoccupation to students in another sense: two years ago universities introduced higher fees, increasing the pressure on the students’ finances (many of them have to pay back their student loans after graduation). Therefore, the tradition of university as a “fun” life experience is becoming obsolete, and today’s students are prepared to work hard to make their investment probable.
The number of hours students spend socializing while at university has fallen dramatically in the last two years. And many of them are less likely to be found in university bars than in libraries: more than three-quarters spend two hours or more of a typical weekday on private study, and over a quarter devote four hours or above.
For their socializing, 52% of students choose off-campus sites, but the majority still prefer university cafeterias at meal times. They say that the traditional community spirit has not disappeared entirely, although internet “social webs” are used by at least 88% of them.)
This generation of students is also health-conscious: most do exercise and make an effort to eat healthily.
Unfortunately, their finances aren’t so healthy; the majority expect to accumulate debts of over £10,000 by the time they graduate. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, most students are doing this without much difficulty because they are confident that they are making the right investment in their future career. And curiously, worries about money seem to matter less than worries about work or results. Seven in ten students are more concerned about achieving the qualifications they want while just 43% lose sleep over money.
Going to university is a much bigger responsibility than it used to be. But most lecturers still say that if you study something you like, there is a better chance you’ll work in a field you love, even if you don’t earn so much money.

COMPREHENSION
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-3 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS. 1 Why isn’t university life as “fun” as it used to be? Give two reasons.
2 How have the students’ socializing habits changed?
3 Why aren’t money debts the students’ top concern?

ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT, OR USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
4 Many students borrow money to study a degree.
5 Each year at university costs the average UK student £10,000.

USE OF ENGLISH: Choose either all the A or all the B questions
6A FIND IN THE TEXT ONE WORD MEANING “money
charged for a service” (NOUN).
6B GIVE ONE SYNONYM FOR “fall” (VERB; LINE 11).

7A GIVE ONE OPPOSITE FOR “higher”(ADJECTIVE)
(LINE 7).
7B FIND IN THE TEXT ONE OPPOSITE FOR
“worsen” (VERB).

8A FIND IN THE TEXT THE WORD WHICH HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION:
“university student who has not completed his/her degree” (NOUN).
8B FILL IN THE GAP WITH THE CORECT OPTION:
“Travel is easier ...... than it was in the past.”
Actually / Presently / Nowadays

9A GIVE A VERB WITH THE SAME ROOT AS “preoccupation” (NOUN; LINE 6).
9B WHICH WORD IS NOT AN ADVERB?
Hard / Costly / Hardly

10A FILL IN THE GAP WITH A CORRECT FORM OF THE VERB IN BRACKETS:
“Students can’t help ..........
(worry) about final exams”.
10B FILL IN THE GAP WITH THE CORRECT OPTION:
“The girl was very quiet; she ......”
hardly never spoke / hardly ever spoke / spoke hardly

11A JOIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES USING A RELATIVE. MAKE CHANGES IF NECESSARY:
“Most students will owe a lot of money to the bank.
Their finances aren’t very healthy”.
11B TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO THE PASSIVE VOICE:
“People were accusing me of the accident.”

12A COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONAL SENTENCE:
“If I had been more careful ..........”.
12B REWRITE THE SENTENCE CORRECTLY:
“The road to the beach has 2Km.”

13A USE THE WORDS IN THE BOXES TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL SENTENCE. USE ALL AND ONLY THE WORDS IN THE BOXES WITHOUT CHANGING THEIR FORM:
weren't      lift      the     arms     enough     to     his     weight     strong
13B JOIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES USING AN APPROPRIATE LINKER (DO NOT USE AND, BUT, OR
BECAUSE). MAKE CHANGES IF NECESSARY:
“He lacked physical strength. He won the !ght.”



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