What are the UB students like? 


The results of the survey "The students’ living and study conditions" have been published.

A minority of students of the University of Barcelona (14.5%) have family members with a low level of employment, a figure that illustrates that equity in higher education is a challenge that has yet to be met. This is one of the conclusions of the first edition of the survey "The students’ living and study conditions", carried out by the Student Observatory of the UB’s Vice-Rector’s Office for Students and Participation.

The results also show inequalities in gender distribution according to subject areas: women are more present in health sciences and men in sciences and technical disciplines, and in dual pathways. In this sense, it is also noteworthy that there are more students who identify as non-binary gender in the studies of arts and humanities.

It is also relevant that, for example, 65% of students are convinced that the university education they are taking will help them find a job; more than 90% prefer face-to-face or blended rather than virtual learning, and less than 5% are involved in student associations or unions.

The survey was open to all undergraduate, official university master’s, master’s and postgraduate students, and doctoral students, and it was completed by some 3,300 people. The aim was to analyse the living and study conditions of all students in order to facilitate decision-making and the design of university policies.

The survey "Students’ living and study conditions" has been inspired by other surveys such as the Eurostudent, in Europe; ECoVIPEU, in Spain, and VIU, published by the Vives Network. It has also drawn on surveys on segmented topics (participation, nutrition, expectations, etc.) carried out by the Student Observatory itself. The novelty is that it has incorporated innovative elements, such as an entire blog dedicated to health and healthy habits or questions on sustainability and digital, linguistic and gender competences, as well as functional diversity. And it is worth noting that the survey was passed in the post-pandemic stage.

The survey also shows that 56.6 % of the participants live with family members, 20 % share a flat and 14 % live with a partner. The main source of income for 34.3% is their family or partner, and 26% have a paid job. Also, on the financial side, 38.3% say they are informed about grants and financial aid, while 44.7% say they have only some information and 17% have no information at all. Among those who receive grants, 24.4 % are totally dependent on this source to be able to study. Again, 78.3% are enrolled full-time —i.e. only a minority are enrolled part-time— which contrasts with the fact that 62.7% combine study and work, with an average of 22.76 hours per week (including working days and weekends). Of these, 47% indicate that work is not related to their studies.

Also, 62.7% combine their studies and work, with an average of 22.76 hours per week (including weekdays and weekends). Of these, 47% notes that their jobs are not related to their studies. Moreover, 78.3% of the ones who participated in the survey are enrolled full-time.

In terms of healthy habits, 40% do physical activity or sport two or three times a week. It is worth noting that 33% say they have some disability or limiting condition, including psychological ones. In this respect, more than half say they suffer from stress.

Regarding sustainability, more than 70% separate different types of waste and throw it in the appropriate bin and 69.4% agree that it is necessary to work on sustainability competences in the curricula. In terms of equality, more than 70% agree that action is needed to improve gender inequality and to tackle discrimination and violence in this area. And more than 80% believe that it is necessary to work in diverse and gender-balanced groups.