Student carers reported several ways in which their caring responsibilities affected their experience of university study. Some said that caring affected their education. This was partly due to time constraints, which sometimes meant they could not meet deadlines, complete work, or take part in face-to-face sessions.
Time constraints also mean that some student carers miss out on wider opportunities at university, such as extracurricular activities and work experience. Other practical considerations that affected carers’ study included the need to study near the person they were providing care for. Students built their study timetable around caring responsibilities and found it difficult to complete courses with placements.
We also found that caring responsibilities could negatively affect a student’s mental health. For example, research in Canada found that student carers have lower wellbeing than those who do not have caring responsibilities. Student carers in the UK reported experiencing mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood.