Academic Development Essay

1079 words - 4 pages

This essay examines the effect paid employment has on the academic performance of students at university. Many university students find it a necessity to partake in paid employment during their time at university due to the rising cost of living, the rising university fees or to pay for text books and leisure activities, particularly students from low income families. As Mamiseishvili (2010) noted "In a time of rising tuition costs, many of today's students, especially from low-income families, increasingly turn to employment as a means of paying for college." Employment gives students many valuable tools that can be used during and after their university experience but understandably students and educators are concerned that the rising cost of everyday living is leading to students participating in more hours of work meaning less time for study and extra-curricular activities.This essay argues that there are both positive and negative effects of paid employment during university semesters. These effects are based on where the student is employed, how many hours the student works and whether the student perceived university as their primary role. It is evident that the number of students participating in paid employment is rising. A survey conducted by McInnes and Hartley (as cited in Applegate and Daley, 2006, p.155) shows that "…between 1994 and 1999 the percentage of full time students in paid employment had grown from forty two percent to fifty one percent." By 2001 the percentage of full time students in paid employment grew a further twenty two percent (Applegate and Daley, 2006, p.155). The real issue for discussion is not the fact that the majority of university students are in paid employment, but rather, when does the amount of working hours effect the students ability to attend classes and study for exams. More university students are actively participating in paid employment for a longer periods of time. According to Applegate and Daley (2006, p.155) "Among those working in 1999, over half worked for eleven or more hours per week, compared with forty percent in 1994." The increasing amount of hours the students are working may create a negative effect on the academic results at university as Manthei and Gilmore (2005) state "When all activities were considered as a whole, 69 per cent of the students thought that the hours they spent in work, study and recreational/leisure activities per week were out of balance."There are a growing number of low income first generation students attending university. Generally, it is imperative for low income students to participate in employment to pay their way through the course on a day to day basis. Although there are perceived negative effects employment has on low income students there are measures in countering these effects. "…negative effects of employment might disappear when students consider academics as their most significant responsibility and place school at the top of...

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