ERF presentations: students working alongside their studies

We continue with overviews from different sessions at our EUROSTUDENT Researchers Forum. In session “Working students” five teams (from Slovenia, Austria, Norway, Lithuania, Iceland) presented the situation of working students in their countries, overviewing and comparing socio-demographic characteristics of working and non-working peers, discussing time-budget decisions of working students and analysing their motivation to work. Researchers were focusing on the following questions: who are the students that are enrolled in a paid job while studying in their countries and how does their socio-economic profile differ from non-working ones? What kind of jobs do students tend to choose? To what extend does time spent on paid job affect academic performance? Which factors determine time budget combinations? What are the dominant reasons for choosing work alongside studies and which socio-demographic features are behind them?

“Combining study and work. Factors influencing the combination of studying and paid employment” given by Martin Unger (IHS Vienna, Austria) discussed the results of multivariate regression model on factors influencing the combination of study and work in Austria. Analysis revealed that income structure and age explains great part of variation in working hours. The older the students are and the less they are dependent on family/partner financial support, the more time they spend on a paid job during their studies. The importance of other factors (e.g. as sex, field of study, student satisfaction) on the time spent on paid job were also discussed. Nevertheless, the factors explaining time budget for studying are yet to be determined.

“Combining work and studies: Norwegian results from Eurostudent V in a European perspective” by Kjartan Steffensen and Anna-Lena Keute (Statistics Norway) focused on investigating the relation between time spent on a paid job and study-related activities, using Norwegian Eurostudent V data and drawing on comparisons with other countries (e.g. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc.). The analysis revealed that working up to 10 hours per week does not significantly affect the time spent on studies, while spending more than 25 hours on a paid job sharply reduces time spent for studying.

Working students_compilation1
Impressions on student life in different EUROSTUDENT countries. A drawing made by Akvile Magicdust at the EUROSTUDENT Researchers Forum.

“Balancing learning and earning: a portrait of a working student” by Vaida Šaukeckienė (MOSTA, Lithuania) gave an overview of socio-demographic factors of working students in Lithuania, correlating them with the reasons of working, relations to study content and expectations towards future career. Preliminary analysis of EUROSTUDENT VI data revealed that age, educational background and field of study are the key factors determining students’ motivation to work, self-perception, confidence and preparation for the labour market.

Thorlakur Karlsson (Maskina Research, Iceland) presented the situation of “Working students in Iceland”. Besides an overview of socio-demographic characteristics of working students, the presentation also focussed on satisfaction of studies and plans to continue studying among working and non-working students. Also, more detailed analysis of working students’ time budget was presented, comparing personal study time spent on weekdays and weekends. Results revealed that the group of working students, dedicating less time for personal studying on weekdays, tend to catch up on weekends.

Working Students and Students’ Perception of Employability” by Ksenja Hauptman (Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport) gave an overview of working students in Slovenia. Due to a growing outward emigration of people in tertiary education, few questions were added to the EUROSTUDENT VI core questionnaire in Slovenia, also asking where students want to work after graduating; in Slovenia or abroad? Furthermore, visual student profiles linking the type of paid job and reasons of working with students’ socio-demographic aspects were presented.

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