Spoon-Fed Students Struggle

Cambridge students find things tough because they were spoon-fed through exams, according to a new study.

centre for real world learning counselling CUSU guy claxton spoon fed stress

Students may be expected to beat off tough competition to get into Cambridge, but new studies suggest that many struggle with the pressure once they’re in.

Professor Guy Claxton, boffin and co-director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at Winchester, recently uncovered that 15-20% of Cantabs will see a counsellor at some point during the course of their degree.

Claxton claims that there are more and more brainiacs entering Cam who lack both resilience and “the ability to cope if they do not get great success.” He blames the struggles of these students on them being “spoon-fed…to get them through their exams.”

Tom Phillips, a second year Land Ec, feels Claxton’s stats may be misleading: “I think it’s a bit unfair to focus on Cambridge and Oxford so much.

“Obviously, all mental health issues are really serious, and they’re very keen to tell us here that there’s loads of people we can talk to. I’m not aware that there’s such a huge problem in Cambridge, compared with other unis.”

Claxton’s stats are, however, lower than CUSU’s guess-timation: “1 in 4 students will experience a mental health problem whilst at University.”

University Counselling Service Staff

Cambridge does claim to have the best-resourced student counselling service in Britain, boasting: 15 counsellors, psychotherapists and cognitive behavioural therapists, in addition to a full-time mental health advisor and visiting psychiatrist.

As part of this support network, help resources include the University Counselling Service, Linkline, and pamphlets on coping with issues such as depression and exam stress are widely distributed.