One in five graduates meets their future husband or wife at university, according to an online survey. The accommodation provider Unite polled over 5,000 adults, and uncovered a host of social benefits to a university education.
Graduates were found to have 50 per cent more close friends than non-graduates, and were more likely to know people from different religions or cultures. 35 per cent of former students undertook international travel thanks to friends or contacts from university.
The survey also uncovered significant professional benefits to a university education, beyond the gaining of a qualification. 41 per cent of graduates claimed to have been directly set up for a job interview by a friend from university, while nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they had got a job through a social contact from their time in higher education.
Nearly 90 per cent of graduates said friends had helped increase their annual income by up to £10,000. As Nathan Goddard, sales and marketing director of Unite, explains, university contacts can be invaluable once you start your career: ‘In the current climate, a degree alone doesn’t always guarantee you a job – it’s also the people you meet and the friends you make along the way that could help you get ahead. Our research reveals that people who go to university make strong social networks which help set them up for life; whether it be work, lasting friendships or even marriage.’