Love, Life, and Lectures; new research has shown that for many UK students, university is not just about getting the grades but also getting the special girl or guy.
The research, by the One Day University Love League polled 2,000 UK graduates to mark the release of the recent film adaptation of David Nicholls’ international bestseller ‘One Day’, on Blu-ray and DVD. The film stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dex, two graduates in Edinburgh who meet every year as soulmates before becoming lovers.
Though a love story of fiction, the research has revealed that 20% of British students in fact ‘meet the loves of their life on campus’, and cited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, ‘Kate and Wills’, as a recent example, as they married after falling in love while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Among Edinburgh graduates, only 16% found love at university with ‘a quarter of these leading to marriage’. But its not all heartache in the Highlands, with just over a quarter ‘rekindling a relationship with a fellow student years later’ (27%), mirroring Emma and Dex’s story.
Interestingly, male respondents were found to be ‘most likely to meet the girl of their dreams during their three year course’, and ‘to have the most regrets about not ending up with their university girlfriend’.
‘Men are more likely to marry their university true love than women (54%)’
Moreover, a large number of men admitted to ‘not ruling out rekindling a university romance’ (47%), and successfully reuniting with an old university flame after a chance meeting (39%). This compares to the more conservative figure among women, with only 13% open to re-lighting the fire.
‘20% of men and 18% of women find their true love at university’
The research also found that the results varied across different disciplines.
Those most likely to find true love with somebody on their course were students studying tourism/transport (37%), followed by:
- Business / Management (27%);
- Social / Policy (27%);
- Languages (24%);
- Marketing / Comms / Media (21%);
- Religious Studies (21%);
- Psychology (87%).
Unfortunately, the results show more adverse results for prospective computer scientists, with their course found to be the least likely to lead to love (88%).
Relationship expert Dr Lars Penke from Edinburgh University explained that for some disciplines the odds aren’t in Cupid’s favour:
‘Of course finding a partner at university is easier when the courses have a more equal gender ratio, which might explain why psychologist and computer scientists don’t fare so well in that regard.’
Other noteworthy subject-based findings include that:
- Religious studies students are most likely to end up marrying their true love from their course (80%), followed by business/management (73%);
- Business/management students are the ones who most regret a breakup at university, with 52% believing ‘they loved but lost’;
- Drama students are ‘least likely to have regrets over a campus lost love’.
Geographically, where we have seen students struggling to find romance in Edinburgh, Oxford fared as ‘a city of yearning with 35 % of graduates who studied there finding their true love amongst the spires’. They were also ‘the most likely to marry their university true love (79%)’.
- The top five university cities to find love:
- Oxford (35%)
- York (29%)
- Durham (25%)
- Liverpool (23%)
- Manchester (21%)
- University cities where chances of finding love are ‘less first class’:
- Warwick (11%)
- Glasgow (11%)
- London (14%)
- Cardiff (14%)
- Nottingham (14%)
‘University of London students are the most likely to find true love on their course but it not work out (83%). But the universities where marriage is most on the cards are Cambridge and Chelmsford.’
Dr. Penke summarised that:
‘The most likely romantic partners are those that are around you every day at times when you are looking for a match. Students, exactly in the age when most people look for romance, are fortunate enough that they are surrounded by many potential partners, who on top of that share their educational background and the interest for their study subject, both factors that facilitate a relationship.’