Belfast Telegraph

It's official: NI parents worry too much over student children

When it comes to worrying about our children going off to university, Northern Ireland parents have proved they have more fear about their safety than other parents in the UK.

Over half a million new students will be starting university this week and in a new survey of 1,000 adults with children, Northern Ireland parents came in tops for being the most worried overall.

Half of parents surveyed here said that were were concerned about safety compared to one third of parents in London.

Northern Ireland parents also topped the rest of the UK for having the most concern (32 pc) that their child would be a victim of crime; fall in with the wrong crowd (48 pc) and would drink too much or take drugs when they left to go to university (45 pc).

Parents in Northern Ireland also  worried that their son or daughter would run out of money (38%), a third also feared they would neglect their studies and drop out or be victims of crime.

The UK-wide Lookout Call study found that the top five worries for parents across the country were that they would neglect their studies and drop out (29%), not be safe (32%), drink too much and take drugs (33%), not settle in 39%) and run out of money (45%).

In England, where students face large debts through student loans and hikes in fees, the biggest fear was that students would run out of money (46%). In Wales, money worries and safety were ranked equally (37%), with drinking too much and taking drugs in third place (33%).

In Scotland, worries about children settling in to their new environment away from home came top (41%), followed by 36% who worried they would fail to study and drop out, with a third worried about safety, and drink and drugs.

Worries that their children would run out of money were the top concern in every English region, including East of England (42%), East Midlands (43%), North East (51%), South East (50%) , South West (46%) and West Midlands (46%). They were strongest in the North West (55%) but lowest in London (41%).

In Yorkshire and the Humber, running out of money and safety were the joint biggest fears for 43% of parents.


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