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Does your attitude to university affect your grades?

Feb 09, 2016

Does your attitude to university affect your grades?Feeling like a customer could hurt your results at university, according to new research.

Psychologists from Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Winchester asked students whether they agreed with statements about being a customer or getting a financial benefit from studying, like:

  • 'I think of myself primarily as a paying customer of the university'
  • 'If I cannot earn a lot of money after I graduate, I will have wasted my time at university'

They also asked about statements focused on the value of studying for its own sake:

  • 'I want to expand my intellectual ability'
  • 'I would choose to study even if I didn’t achieve a degree from it'

They found that students who agreed more with the first set of statements had worse academic results.

The research suggests it's important to be an independent learner and take responsibility for your studies at university, although it doesn't prove what caused the connection. However, avoiding the 'consumer attitude' doesn't mean you can't get support from your university or complain if things go wrong.

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