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More and more students are forced to work during term time just so they can stay at university. Part time jobs enable students to manage their finances better and prevent accumulating a huge student debt.

The National Union of students has claimed that over the last 10 years or so, the number of students with jobs has risen by 54%. Twenty or thirty years ago, it was very unusual for a university student to have a job, even students who do subjects with few lectures such as History or English.

There is also a concern that students from poorer backgrounds are more likely to work to supplement their student loans and this can have a damaging impact upon their studies at university.

The fear of student debt puts people off applying for university

Now that university tuition fees are over £3,000 a year for students from England and Northern Ireland, the need for students to work to pay for their education has never been higher.  Critics say that it puts off people from poor backgrounds from applying for university.

Statistics produced by the TUC/NUS show that 55% of young people from managerial and professional backgrounds work and for young people whose parents come from manual work backgrounds, the number of student term time workers rises to 61% (2006 figures).

Types of student work

The TUC/NUS report also stated that students worked mostly in the retail and hospitality sectors, with around 40% working in retails outlets such as shops and another and 21% of students finding employments in restaurants, hotels and bars.

Valuable work experience for students

Not everyone agrees that it is a bad idea for students to work, particularly those if favour of tuition fee. Some people say that working during term time gives university students valuable experience on the work front and this experience will help prepare them for the time when university finishes and it is time to look for a full time job. Many graduate employers want evidence that students have work experience.

Also, students who work during term time are less likely to have money worries that may interfere with their studies.

Nothing new for students to work
The other argument is that there is nothing new is students working during term time to supplement their loans. So long as the hours are not excessive and do not interfere with student studies, part time jobs can be beneficial and are looked upon positively by future employers.

Is student debt worth it?
It is indisputable that most degrees are financially worthwhile. The premium of being a graduate remains healthy. Although many students now leave university with debt, over three quarters of graduates feel the debt is not a huge burden and has not limited their choices.

Sadly, there has been a tendency for unscrupulous employers to exploit students. Students need to stand up for their rights to decent pay and working conditions.

Also, there is a trend for students to apply for horrible jobs – in other words, taking jobs in sectors that most people would find unacceptable such as pole dancing , strip clubs or medical trials.

student money

 
           
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