Finances are the biggest pressure facing NI students

A new survey by  CompareNI.com found that over three-quarters of students in Northern Ireland say that finances are the biggest pressure they face in higher education.

The poll found that 79% of NI students see finances as their biggest pressure while studying.

In addition to this, 76% of those surveyed said that they had to work part-time while studying in order to have a sufficient income and 66% of those said that part-time work had a negative impact on their studies.  Furthermore, 40% of respondents said that time management between their part-time job and studying was the biggest pressure they faced while studying.

This comes after the NUS-USI, which represents all university and college students in NI, released its Cost of Survival report earlier this month which recognises that students here are facing significant financial difficulties as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

The report states that a student from Northern Ireland in higher education receives exactly the same amount of money as a student would have received 12 years ago, despite increasing living prices. The report also highlights that with inflation skyrocketing and student incomes staying static, the likelihood of greater numbers of students facing poverty in the next few years is very high.*

The CompareNI.com fintech scholarship aims to help increase awareness about the sector by asking students to consider what they see as the future of the fintech industry. The winner will receive a £1000 bursary which can be used to cover part of the cost of their studies, course materials or any other living expenses as well as the option to take part in industry related work experience at CompareNI.com.

Commenting on the scholarship, Ian Wilson, Managing Director at CompareNI.com said: “The cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone right now and students are one of the groups that have been hardest hit.  Our survey results show significant financial pressures on students are leading them to worry, and in some cases, it’s having a negative impact on their studies.

“With this in mind, we are aiming to support the winner of our fintech scholarship with a £1000 bursary and work experience to help bolster their CV, in the hope it will encourage them to get involved in this booming industry.”

Danielle McWall, Head of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics at Ulster University also commented on the scholarship stating: “Northern Ireland has an exceptionally high concentration of FinTech employment and Belfast is currently the number one location in the world for investment in Fintech. Across the region there are almost 40,000 people employed in the Financial and Professional Services sector.”

Professor Daniel Broby, Chair of Financial Technology at Ulster University, added: “The scholarship was well received by Ulster University students last year. The offer of work experience at CompareNI, and on its world class comparison platform, will no doubt further inspire them.”

Last year’s winner, Kenna White, an Environmental Science student from Ulster University, wrote an intuitive piece, entitled Bitcoin’s Environmental Parlay – touching on the sustainability factors influencing the fintech sector.

The deadline to enter the CompareNI Fintech Scholarship is March 30 2023.

CompareNI.com is Northern Ireland’s largest price comparison website and has helped over 650,000 users find savings on household bills and essentials such as car insurance and home insurance.

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