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The Times is a British daily based in London. It began in 1785 as The Daily Universal Register and became The Times in 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp group.
Photo of a graduation ceremony showing the students' hats.
Ginevra Falciani

Reports Of A Quiet Rise In University Student Suicides In Multiple Countries

On top of the traditional troubles some young people face on their own for the first time are the added factors of social media pressure and the effects of the pandemic. The crisis appears to have hit hard in Italy, with other countries, from India to France to the UK, reporting a similar situation.

TW: Contains references to suicide and suicidal thoughts.

On the first day of February, a 19-year-old took her own life in the bathroom of Milan’s IULM university. As reported in Italian daily La Stampa, a note left in the victim's purse said she considered her life and studies a failure.

Three months earlier, in the northeastern city of Bologna, a 23-year-old law student jumped off a bridge after telling his parents he was getting ready for graduation at the end of the week. He had not taken a single exam in months. The year before, in the same city, a student who had dropped out of university invited his parents to his would-be graduation, then took his life.

The Italian government halted the gathering of data on self-inflicted deaths in 2019, but there are growing number of reports in recent months in Italy's news media that suicides among university students are on the rise.

Although the causes of youth suicide are varied and complex, there is a longstanding connection for some to the university sphere, as students often describe feeling academic pressure and the weight of unmet familial expectations. Experts warn this is being exacerbated by the isolation coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the way that social media can feed feelings of inadequacy.

"Sleeping is a waste of time"

In Italy, experts and student associations say the country's university system deserves some of the blame. Excellence is necessary to succeed, but at the same time, the system allows students to fall behind easily — they can decide when to take a final exam, delaying it as much as a year after finishing a course.

Young Italians leaving university face one of the worst rates of youth unemployment in Europe. Even those with excellent grades have a hard time finding a job — a discouraging situation that’s especially hard on those already going through difficult times.

Add to that the way social media pushes a whole special set of "influencers" who have it all, including perfect grades. Italian media fuels the intense competition. “At 23, she is a doctor, model and influencer: ‘For me, sleeping is a waste of time’,” reads the headline of one of the many articles about Carlotta Rossignoli, the young prodigy who graduated from medical school a year early and attributed her success to little sleep and a “strong willpower.”

Normalizing “prodigy graduates” can turn an educational opportunity into a source of anxiety.

Italian newspapers reported glowingly last year on a young woman who did her thesis defense while in labor, continuing to answer questions between contractions.

Normalizing these so-called “prodigy graduates” pushes students to turn an educational opportunity into a source of anxiety, multiplying the burden of family expectations.

For many, going to university is their first time living away from their parents. Not wanting to disappoint can turn into a desperate battle not to fail, no matter the psychological cost.

And as always, on social media, the achievements of friends and acquaintances are only a swipe away — a perpetual reminder that somewhere, someone else is doing better.

Photo of a girl wearing the traditional laurel wreath worn by students in Italy on their graduation day. \u200b

Traditional laurel wreath worn by students in Italy on their graduation day.

Elisaveta Bunduche via Unsplash

Ask me how I am

The social media obsession dovetailed with the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people. The first wave hit Italy early and hard, and many university students, especially those working part-time to pay rent, were forced to move back in with their parents — sometimes re-entering dynamics from which they had voluntarily distanced themselves.

Cases of anxiety and depression have increased, driven by the loss of independence and physical contact, and disruption of daily routines.

Those who stayed in their university’s city have not fared much better.

At the University of Milan, in Lombardy, the region where the first cases of COVID-19 in Europe were detected in March 2020, requests for mental health support increased by 75%. Feelings of loneliness and bewilderment created symptoms of anxiety and depression among students stranded in the city.

This figure reflects a widespread problem. The 2022 “Ask Me How I Am” survey, which included 30,000 students nationwide, found cases of anxiety, fear, stress, worry about the future, eating disorders and self-harm in nine out of 10 students.

At the same time, endless budget cuts to education (the most recent: €3.86 billion in 2022) have reduced the availability of scholarships, and the housing crisis in several college towns has made it impossible for many to find their own apartments again, even with the end of the pandemic emergency.

Photo of Cambridge University.

Cambridge University

Jean-Luc Benazet via Unsplash

Not an exception

This phenomenon is hardly limited to Italy: suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in Europe.

In the same week of the suicide in Bologna, a 21-year-old student at the University of Exeter, UK, took his own life after failing his final-year exams. It was the 11th suicide in six years at this university. At the University of Cambridge, five students died by suicide between March and June 2022, which led the institution to launch an inquiry to determine whether their studies had affected the students’ mental health, the Times of Londonreported.

The suicide of a Dalit student in Bombay sparked a debate about caste discrimination in higher education.

In France, a 2020 survey found that students were twice as likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression than people working. The University of Bordeaux study, which surveyed 4,000 people aged 18-40, also found low self-esteem was the main risk factor among young men.

Other cultural factors can also compound the problem. In mid-February, in India, the suicide of a Dalit student at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay sparked a debate about caste discrimination in higher education.

“Even before the student could introduce himself or make friends, he is asked for his JEE scores (a national standardized exam),” a Ph.D. scholar told The Wire. “The score gives away too much information – the student’s academic standing, caste location and their social vulnerabilities.” You become “a quota student, undeserving of the space,” another student pursuing her MTech degree said.

Investing in mental health

At many universities, in Italy and abroad, poor mental health support and a lack of subsidized psychologists makes this problem worse.

The Italian government created a €10 million fund in 2022 to help people pay for therapy. In just the first few days, 300,000 people applied — 60% of them under 35 years old. The fund was increased to €25 million in 2023 in response to the huge demand.

Government support is crucial, especially for students: the average price of a therapy session in Italy is €80, and few can afford to go regularly, if at all.

In response to the 19-year-old student's suicide at IULM university in February, the Italian government was reportedly working on a proposal to hire at least one mental health counselor in every university.

But there still seems to be a long way to go.

Photo of a 16th century monastery, now \u200bthe courtyard of one of Bologna University's buildings.

16th century monastery, now the courtyard of one of Bologna University's buildings.

Carlo Pelagalli

Waiting lists

Where this service does already exist, it is underfunded and has months-long waiting lists, leaving counselors unable to keep up with the increasing numbers of young people seeking help.

The University of Milan had only one psychologist before the pandemic. With more students needing mental health help, the school hired three more — still just one psychologist for every 3,000 students.

At the University of Bologna, where the two young men who had lied about their graduation were enrolled, each student is entitled to three preliminary evaluation sessions, after which they must wait for the university to schedule actual therapy.

We are tired of mourning our peers.

For one Bologna student, it took a month and a half for the university to start his three evaluation sessions, which he finished on Dec. 15. Now, more than two months later, he is still waiting for the university to schedule his follow-up therapy appointments.

“I don’t even blame them,” he says. “The counseling service is carried out entirely by volunteers. They do their best, but it’s ridiculous.”

In her keynote address at the opening of the academic year, Emma Ruzzon, student council president at the University of Padua, expressed the need for universities to address an often toxic culture of competition.

"University should represent a path to liberation through knowledge, not a performance," she said. “We are tired of mourning our peers, and we want politics to make itself available to understand with us how to take action against this emergency, but we also need the courage to question the entire merit-centric and competitive system.”

Kuta Beach, Bali
food / travel
Manon Dambrine and Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

How Countries Are Coping With A Tanking Tourism Industry

From Bali to Mexico and everywhere in between, countries that have come to rely on a steady stream of tourism revenue are experiencing serious fallout from the pandemic.

Through 2019, international tourism was soaring. Lower plane ticket prices and rising incomes in many developing countries had created a new class of globetrotters, and as far as anyone could tell, it was sky's the limit for the travel industry.

That, of course, was before the coronavirus pandemic, which from one day to the next kept people confined not just to their home countries, but to their homes and neighborhoods. Paradoxically, quarantine has made some of the world's tourist hotspots even more desirable, with empty streets, uncrowded public transportation and famous museums and other attractions with no wait time.

But what about the businesses — and even whole nations — that rely on these visitors, and their wallets? Here's how seven countries around the world are managing without their normal influx of foreigners, and searching for new ways to climb out of the crisis.

United Kingdom

  • Minus the almost 22 million annual overseas visitors flooding London, the capital city's economy is expected to decrease 17% this year. Even the Tower of London's famous Beefeaters may be facing job cuts, perhaps for the first time since King Henry VII formed the elite unit of royal guards in 1485.

  • On the other hand, holiday parks within the UK are booming, with Brits looking for a change of scenery as tent, caravan and other lodging accommodations begin reopening. As Andrew Campbell, chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance, told the BBC: "People just wanted to get out and come to Wales. You can feel the joy, it's radiating off them."

  • While the Scottish Highlands are beginning to see a rise in tourists again, limited passenger numbers on ferries to increase social distancing is impacting tourism to Scotland's Isles. On the Isle of Arran, 1,500 tourism-related jobs are threatened. But others are taking a different approach to protect their communities.


  • Resorts and archeological sites began reopening in Egypt at the beginning of July, hoping to revive an industry that accounts for 15% of the country's economy. Tourism also took a strong hit following Egypt's 2011 revolution, but eventually made a comeback, with 21% growth in 2019 and more than 13.5 million vacationers.

  • The country is easing tourist visa requirements and offering flight deals to attract travelers from Europe to popular Nile river cruises and beach town resorts. As Ashraf Nasr, who has offered camel rides for 25 years, told the BBC: "It's been so hard for everyone. We've spent four months at home. Each camel needs 100 Egyptian pounds ($6) a day for food."

  • Others are hoping that the pandemic will encourage "community tourism," with Egyptians traveling locally and in an ethical and ecologically responsible manner.

Deserted beach on the Canary holiday island Gran Canaria, Spain — Photo: Xamax/DPA/ZUMA


  • Normally a popular backpacker destination, the Indonesian island of Bali is only opening its beaches and temples to locals, and not until the end of the month. Foreign tourists won't be invited back in until mid September. There is hope, in the meantime, that an increase in the Chinese market will help revive Bali. Others are encouraging more sustainable, small-scale tourism. Rather than coming just to party, they want visitors to enjoy authentic cultural and environmental "experiences."

  • Around 6 million tourists visit Bali each summer to surf, explore the natural wonders and connect with its strong Hindu religious traditions. Over the past decades, Bali has also worked to become a tourist destination in the Muslim majority Indonesia, but with 80% of revenue connected to tourism, the economy is now in free fall.

  • Thousands of yoga instructors, spa workers and others whose income relies on tourism are shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle. Returning to their home villages in northern Bali, many are taking up farming — often in Bali's many rice fields — or fishing, along its empty beaches.


  • Tourism in Mexico has been the bedrock for 11 million jobs, typically accounting for nearly 9% of Mexico's GDP.

  • In Yucatan state, a popular tourist destination, an overnight curfew has been imposed, with alcohol banned and marinas closed. Recently, authorities in the Caribbean beach resort of Tulum threatened to issue fines of up to 9,250 pesos ($413) or even arrest people for disobeying rules on wearing face masks, the Mexican news outlet PalcoNoticias reported.

  • The good news, however, is that Cancun was the first destination in the Americas and one of the first few in the world to receive the "Safe Travels' global safety and hygiene stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council. This indicates that the destination has "implemented the new safety measures for travelers that WTTC has recognized and approved," said Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González inTravel and Leisure.

A tourist in front of the Tower of London— Photo: Vickie Flores/London News Pictures/ZUMA


  • The worldwide coronavirus travel restrictions have weakened Spanish tourism, the country's leading economic sector. At the end of 2015, domestic and international tourism in Spain was estimated to bring in up to 5% of the country's overall GDP and sustained more than 2 million jobs. In Spain, the summer season has started and tourist homes are so far only about 35% full. The figure is far from the 85% occupation rate registered just a year ago.

  • The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are the destinations hardest hit by the pandemic. Due to their dependence on air travel and the massive absence of tourists (mainly English, German and Scandinavian), they anticipate the worst summer in history.

  • The Spanish island of Mallorca has closed its main party strip after drunken tourists were seen cavorting without masks, jumping on cars and chanting aggressively on the streets of a resort town, the localDiario de Mallorca newspaper reported last week. All of the bars on Punta Ballena street were closed because the "mainly British tourists there, and the bar operators themselves," were not complying with the rules, a spokesman for the Balearics regional government told CNN.


  • A certain confusion and a scent of scandal surround the "Go To Travel" campaign, which Japan launched on July 22 to support its pandemic-battered tourism industry. The initiative aims to "meet the demands of a struggling sector," said Deputy Tourism Minister Masamune Wada.

  • Within this framework, the government covers half of the cost of a stay up to the limit of 20,000 yen ($187) per person per day. And 30% of the refund comes in the form of coupons redeemable at restaurants, amusement parks or souvenir shops. The operation is expected to last until spring 2021 and cost 1.3 trillion yen (upwards of $12 billion), according to the French daily Le Monde.

  • The initiative is being questioned because of the high cost, but also because of a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, mainly in Tokyo, where more than 200 cases have been detected almost daily since July 9.


  • As reported byThe Times, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea has taken a novel approach to maintaining social distancing among tourists by hiring a troupe of knights on horseback. In full medieval regalia, knights from a re-enactment group greet tourists arriving at the Gotland island ferry terminal. Keep thou distance ye tourists!

  • "During the week we will go on the beach and around the city to tourist sites," Dennis Norrthon of the Torneamentum society, which normally puts on jousting tournaments for visitors, told the London daily.

The scene in New York

Truck Attack in NYC, 16 Front Pages From Newspapers Around The World

A day after a suspected 29-year-old Uzbek national killed eight people and injured a dozen more with a rented pickup truck in Manhattan, newspapers around the world devoted their front pages to the worst terrorist attack in New York since 9/11. Here's is how it looked in 11 different countries, including Argentina, home to five of the victims:


New York Post

Portada de Wall Street Journal (USA)

Wall Street Journal

Portada de The Washington Post (USA)

Washington Post





Portada de O Globo (Brasil)

O Globo


Portada de The Times (Reino Unido)

The Times




Portada de Bild (Alemania)



Portada de Corriere della Sera (Italia)

Corriere della Sera


Portada de Haaretz (Israel)


Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall at the Golden Globe Awards 2016 in Beverly Hills

Rupert Murdoch Uses Own Newspaper To Announce Engagement To Jerry Hall

No need for Twitter if you are a media baron. Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch placed an announcement in the Births, Marriages and Deaths page of The Times, the storied London-based newspaper he owns, to share the news of his engagement to American actress and former supermodel Jerry Hall.

Murdoch, 84, is the executive chairman of News Corporation, which owns The Times. He has six children from his three previous marriages. Hall, 59, was previously in a long-term relationship with the Rolling Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger, with whom she has four children.

No date has been set for the Murdoch-Hall wedding, but this latest power couple certainly won't go unnoticed.