All in a day’s work?
A recent survey conducted (as far as I can tell) in England has revealed that 77 per cent of university students have a paid job. More strikingly, 14 per cent have full-time jobs while studying.
Of course students working is not a new phenomenon; when I was a student many of us did some sort of paid work while at university. But in those days it tended to be during holidays, and not everyone felt any real pressure to earn money. Nowadays more students come from backgrounds where they cannot expect parents and families to provide funding, and costs (in particular accommodation costs) are much higher. Of course work can be an enriching experience for students (and course-related work placements are excellent), but when financial pressures are piled on and working hours invade study time it becomes a different matter.
This is another reason why public money needs to be targeted more specifically at those who most need it, so that earning money does not crowd out studies. Universities also need to be stronger advocates for students, so that society understands that financial pressures must not compromise the opportunity to learn.
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