Cambridge University Student Committed Suicide, Inquest Hears

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Dec 07, 2022

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A student at Cambridge University, Alexander Horner, who died on May 9 at Eastbourne in East Sussex, has committed suicide, an inquest has heard.

Horner, 23, a mathematics student at Trinity College, was suffering from long-term abdominal pain and was one of the six students at the university to commit suicide this year, CNN has reported.

According to Alexander’s parents, the reason why their son committed suicide is that he couldn’t cope with the chronic pain that was causing him physical pain too.

"The chronic and increasingly intense physical pain was too much for him to take," Alexander’s parents told CNN.

At the hearing, Horner was described as an excellent student who understood Chinese and Japanese and achieved the best results during his studies. It was also emphasized that Horner was dealing with numerous health problems that were also the cause of his suicide.

According to data and analysis from Census 2021 on registered suicides in England and Wales, 5,583 people died by suicide in England and Wales last year, meaning it was 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people, a higher rate compared to 2020 when the number of registered suicides was equivalent to 10.0 deaths per 100,000 people.

The same report revealed that the suicide rate for students in higher education in 2020 in England and Wales was 3.0 deaths per 100,000 students or 64 students who died by suicide, the lowest rate in the past four years.

"While higher education students have lower rates of suicides compared with the general population of similar ages, every suicide is a tragedy for those involved,” Health Analysis and Life Events, Office for National Statistics, Julie Stanborough said, following the publication of the report “Estimating suicide among higher education students, England and Wales.”

Between the academic years ending 2017 and 2020, the number of male students committing suicide was higher compared to female students. Statistics show that the male suicide rate for university students was 5.6 deaths per 100,000 students, or 202 suicide deaths, compared to female students which was 2.5 deaths per 100,000 students.

Undergraduate males had a higher suicide rate between the academic years 2017 and 2020, at 7.8 deaths per 100,000 students, compared to students in other levels of study.

This summer, the University of Cambridge began an investigation over the death of five students who died by suicide or suspected suicide, but the investigation didn’t find any links between the first four deaths.

>> Number of UK Students Seeking Mental Health Support Increases

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