Grant Wankshaft is a student at the fictional Spunkbridge University (a pun on Cambridge; spunk and cum are British slang for semen). One strip had him down as an undergraduate in Peace Studies although this was never referenced again. His school grades were mediocre at best - he certainly achieved a C in French at GCSE but he misinterpreted a porter telling him to take a train from platform "treize" for platform "trois" and ended up in Siberia.
It made obvious (especially in the early strips) that Grant does very little or no work to his degree. One strip had him visiting his department (he originally did not know where it was, and had to be directed by a friend) to see his personal tutor, who pointed out that he had not handed in a single essay in three years, and would have to expel Grant if he didn't do them all (Grant responded by pointed out that he believed he had soiled himself). Also the terms seem ridiculously short (4 weeks in one case, with the Christmas vacation lasting until late March!)
Grant likes to think of himself as a very liberal intellectual who is both independent and is very worldly-wise. In reality he frequently shows bigoted opinions, is not especially bright, relies on his doting parents for money and has little idea about the world outside of campus. In some ways he is similar to the character Rick in the sitcom The Young Ones.
Grant has a number of friends who are just like him in that they are eager to express their "individuality" by all wearing the same kind of clothes. The latest student fashions they wear are invariably ridiculous, like huge hats, bright yellow dungarees and T-shirts with geeky slogans on them like All your base are belong to us, Thunderbirds Are Go! and, in the late 1990s especially, Teletubbies Say 'Eh Oh'!. They are very opinionated and love to talk loudly (and ignorantly) about various subjects, emphasising their sureness about their statements by tagging "...actually!" at the end of their sentences. They are convinced of how intelligent they are, usually "proving" it by listing the grades they got in their A-levels. Several of Grant's collegiate friends have bizarre speech impediments or dental deformities, or both. Grant spends (his parents') money freely but begrudges being obliged to pay full price for anything because, as he constantly notes "students are really feeling the pinch".
Grant and his friends are all obsessed with being politically correct, to the point where they often argue about who is the most politically correct of them all, such as the time they had a passionate debate about whether it was racist or not to like Ali G ("Well I heard black people do like Ali G, so if you don't like him, that makes you racist, actually!"}
Although Grant likes to think of himself as in touch with the working classes, he is actually from a solid middle class background. He also clearly has a lot of latent contempt for the working classes and non-students in general, regarding them as ill-educated peasants. Because he has a habit of making his opinions loud and clear, this has resulted in a number of savage beatings for Grant on the occasions he strayed off campus and into the real world.
In the early 1990s, when students received a maintenance grant in addition to free tuition (which irritated some people intensely), Student Grant appeared in most issues. Most students receive neither free tuition nor maintenance grants now, so the joke in the character's name is out of date.