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Students work Part-time to fund University

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Aug 04 2008 11:11

Shocking statistics from Natwest Bank have shown that almost half the undergraduate population have part-time jobs during term-time.

Click Here for the Full Article

Aug 04 2008 13:26

Would probably be more interesting finding out the figure at Imperial...

Aug 04 2008 14:17

I worked at the Union from 1997 - 2002 as a Steward, Bar Staff, Reception Staff, Women's Minibus Driver, Shop Staff, Cashier and in Catering (everyone knew me so though my main job was Stewarding I helped everywhere else). I worked a lot of hours at the Union as did my (now) Husband. I really enjoyed working there and was lucky to leave with my Student Loans in my Bank account ready to spend on a house deposit. This was just before fees became payable so I did not have that cost.

My only concern is that my husband and I were truely a "blip" when it came to hours worked v. degree awarded. There were many other part time union workers that expected 2.1's or above that came out with 2.2's or below. I can't help that think that the hours they worked contributed to the lower than expected results.

I don't think that students should be limited in the number of hours they work at university as I believe that time management is something that people need to learn (as I said above, my husband and I must have managed it) but I do think that something needs to be done if:

a) there is money out there for people to claim but they can't/ won't because of the rules attached to it; and

b) the financial pressure needs to be reduced so that students can feel able to concentrate on their degree more than the work they do in the Union.

3. Ex-IC   
Aug 04 2008 15:35

I think it's really sad that people are choosing to work part-time, especially if it's affecting their degree classifications.

Working at while at Uni is a waste of the best years of your life.

Fear of student debt is really irrational. Sure, credit-card and loan debt can f**k you over in the long run - but student loans? Come on, is ~4% interest per year on an extra ?2k going to financially cripple anyone? Bulls**t. I think it comes down to lack of self-belief. Do these people think they're not going to be able to get a decent-paying job later in life?

I took the full student loan and survived ok on it with no parental contributions. I don't see it as 'debt', rather paying a bit more in future in return for my free time now.

People working and commuting from home to 'save money' are missing out on the student experience. Never again will you have the same opportunity to learn about a topic, experience new relationships and grow as a person. Some people realise this now, others won't until they're on their deathbeds - but the greatest luxury you will ever have is time. Time to spend reading, time to spend dreaming, time to spend recovering from a monster hangover until 3pm on a Tuesday: time spent doing whatever you want is never time wasted.

A wise man once told me "do something that you love, as the only currency that really matters in on your wrist**tch". I think the students of today would do well to heed those words.

4. Miner   
Aug 04 2008 16:23

Well said point 3. I completely agree with you.

Though there is plenty of time to take on paid work whilst at Uni. Our summer break is 3 months long..... what a wise student would do is earn as much as they can over the summer to provide enough money for the p*** ups for the next academic year.... simple!

I also work in the union every so often throughout the year.... the odd 5/6 hour shift every couple of weeks wouldn't harm anyone....

5. David   
Aug 04 2008 16:38

I've done so much part-time work for Imperial over the years that I've been told that I'm no-longer legally allowed to do so.

Apparently, this is because of current employment regulations: any person who has done more than N hours part-time work is apparently required to be given a contract to protect workers who might worthwise be treated as perma-temps.

Unfortunately, I appear to have crossed this threshold..

Aug 04 2008 17:29

@ David

I noticed this a couple of years ago; the student worker joining forms suddenly changed so that we were now longer considered employees of the Union - merely 'casual' workers.

Sad when a Student Union deliberately uses the loopholes of the law to remove statutory protection from it's own members.....

Aug 04 2008 23:52

I agree with 3 to some extent but I have to admit that I loved Stewarding and had a fab time working at the Union. My social life revolved around the Union and my friends there. If you can earn and have a good time even better.

I, however, refused to work in the summe holidays. As far as I was concerned they were for travelling. I still have that philosophy now that I work full time and only get 25 days off per year!

Not sure when the union changed things as in 1999 I was considered casual staff. I would regularly work over 30 hours per week and it was not a problem...

Aug 05 2008 00:25

I intentionally avoided doing any part time work during my first year so as to be able to have the student experience. Despite taking the full loan and having saved up quite a bit the preceding summer I found myself absolutely broke by the end of my first year.

Again I worked during the summer before my second year, but I didn't manage to save up much. This meant that despite taking the full loan I still needed to take part-time work during the year (although this was very part-part time work if you get my drift).

The following summer I did a decent internship and had a fair bit saved up + full loan again. Something went badly wrong as I soon found myself needing to take some sort of employment again. So near the beginning of my third year I started working in the Union behind the bar. Exactly the same thing happened in my forth year (along with my rent going up).

I have to say that despite doing the most amount of paid work in my forth year (although if I'm honest that was no way near Michelle's 30 hours a week - I normally averaged around 15 hours a week) it was the year I most enjoyed. I loved meeting people through working in the Union and I would do it again in a flash.

In reflection it should have been doable to survive off the maximum loan (which I always took), despite no parental aid, but I never controlled my budget nearly as much as I should have done and the frequent trips to visit my girlfriend did nothing to help my poor budgeting!

Aug 05 2008 14:20

Ex-IC made a good case, but one important point he/she overlooked is that of financial self-confidence. Its all very well rationalising about living now and paying it back in the future, but those from a poor background will find the idea difficult to justify, as there may no precedent for finding lucrative jobs in the family history. That said, I still reckon such people follow Ex-IC's sound advice and hope for the best, as the college experience is priceless.

Aug 06 2008 00:05

Listen son! If you can't cope with an honest days work then I can't be doing with you. Call yourself a high calibre student at a top establishment? Well then act like it!

Aug 11 2008 22:24

I'm sorry, I can't help it...

"Students work Part-time to fund University"


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