The majority of higher education students are younger than 25 years in most EUROSTUDENT countries. However, variations in the age composition of the student populations across countries are large. Mean ages range from less than 23 years in France, Albania, and Georgia to 28 years and over in Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Across countries, older students can be found among certain student groups in particular. In almost all EUROSTUDENT countries, the average age of students is higher among Master students, students at non-universities, low-intensity students, students without higher education background, delayed transition students, and students having accessed higher education through alternative access routes. Students depending on their own self-earned income, pursuing a paid job for more than 20 hours a week, and living away from the parental home are also on average older than their counterparts. Differences in average age between male and female students of up to three years are also found in some countries, but there is no clear pattern of one group being older than the other across countries.
Students with children
In two thirds of EUROSTUDENT countries, the share of students with children is 10 % or lower. In Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden, however, more than 15 % of students are parents. In general, the older a student population is on average, the higher the share of students with children. Overall, student parents tend to be found more often among female students, but in around a fifth of EUROSTUDENT countries, there are (at least slightly) more fathers than mothers among the students.
EUROSTUDENT data indicate that studying with children may lead students to pursue their studies differently than their peers. In the vast majority of countries, students with children are more often found among alternative access students. Larger shares of student parents are also studying at non-universities, as well as among students studying with low intensity. Concerning their economic situation, at least marginally more student parents are found among students indicating that they experience financial difficulties.
More detailed EUROSTUDENT VI results and analyses can be found in:
- EUROSTUDENT VI Synopsis of Indicators
- EUROSTUDENT VI Overview and selected findings
- EUROSTUDENT Database