According to a recent study published in the Lancet Public Health journal, attending full time study at school and university is linked to longer life expectancy.  

The benefits of attending higher education are well known in the areas of knowledge and skills development and enhanced career prospects, but this latest research indicates that it can have an impact on your life similar to that of a healthy diet.

Education linked to longer life expectancy

The data was collected from 70 locations around the world including developed countries such as the UK and US as well as developing countries like Brazil, India and China. The study found that for each year spent in education, there was a 2% reduction in mortality risk. Choosing to stay on in higher education and complete a degree may not only give you better life chances but it may also add a number of years in which to enjoy that life.

Experts believe the link can best be explained by the impact of education on health behaviours. Higher education is linked to greater career prospects, higher earning potential, better access to health care and an increased awareness and knowledge about health.  In addition, the social and psychological benefits of attending university are well known, along with access to sporting activities that aid general fitness and wellbeing, and embed healthy habits. 

Other benefits of attending university

In addition to a longer life expectancy and gaining expertise and knowledge in an area that you’re passionate about, going to university can provide other opportunities that have the potential to enhance your life chances.  

Personal development

Going to university helps students develop their independence through living away from home and learning to take responsibility in a nurturing environment. At Essex, we offer a range of academic and research skills support, as well as the chance to learn an additional language and improve  digital know-how through our ‘For All’ programme. Students have the opportunity to broaden their horizons by studying overseas, or volunteering through our Students’ Union and we have a mentoring scheme to support their development on a one-to-one basis. 

Career prospects and employability

89% of our graduates are in employment or further study and in addition to our degree programs, we offer a full range of career support to help students during and after their course. There are CV writing workshops, tips on interview techniques and applications and opportunities to work on or off campus to gain experience and earn some money.

Lifelong Connections

Our Students’ Union is the place for students to find a connection with like minds and those who share their passion. It's the place to make friends with students from around the world, join societies, play sports and attend social events. Essex has one of the most diverse academic communities in the UK with 140 nationalities represented by our student population, offering the opportunity to learn about different backgrounds and cultures.

Get the support you need to benefit

For those who believe higher education is out of reach due to financial or academic barriers, there is a surprising level of support that could make all the difference.  At Essex, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to support students from different backgrounds. Those who don't quite have the required grades may be eligible for a contextual offer or could take advantage of a foundation year.

The choice to continue on to higher education is a commitment to more than just a degree course.  It is a step into a world of opportunity, a path to greater career prospects, a key to unlocking a network of global connections and a gateway to a longer life.

Read more about the benefits of higher education on our why go to university page. We have some specific information for parents and much more on our undergraduate pages.