Recent studies have revealed that 75% of students, at some point during their academic year, have recalled a sense of ‘overwhelming anxiety’. A large majority of this stress stems from pressure to get top grades and perform to the peak of their ability, while also searching for jobs, remaining social, being involved in university life. The constant pressure students face, dictating how their higher education experience should be, can negatively impact both their study enjoyment and well-being.
As part of a masters research project, at the University of Edinburgh, students across the UK and Ireland are needed to take part in a survey surrounding their study experience and their well-being in higher education.
This is the first study in Ireland and the UK, to the researcher’s knowledge, to examine the role of various aspects within academic experience on student’s well-being. It would be greatly appreciated if students could spare 5–10 minutes to take the survey.
The research project aims to identify where students derive their motivation from. The pressures of both intrinsic and extrinsic, and identifying which ones impact how their college experience plays out. People mainly motivated extrinsically may emphasise external attributes in their life, family values, striving from good jobs and salaries. Whereas people high in intrinsic motivation might find their studies stimulating and eye-opening and they flourish in work and in life. Both play an equally integral part in the academic and well-being development of student in higher education.
This research project strives to identify how flourishing, a concept central to positive psychology, is accomplished by students. Finding flourishing in what you enjoy helps with fulfilment for a more purposeful life. We aim with our research to conduct and produce a research project that will help highlight where students may feel they are struggling in their higher education experience. But also, to generate research that will inform institutions and universities across Ireland and the UK to become more aware of how students are feeling in terms of their well-being and their connectedness to their education. Education is an integral part of a young person’s life. We hope to both inform and make changes, where changes may be necessary, to benefit more students across the countries.