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Graduate Advice
5 min read

Students - The Struggle Of Maintaining Work And Study

In the current economic climate, a growing number of university students here in the UK are facing severe financial strain which can prompt them to seek employment opportunities in which to bridge the gap between their growing expenses and available resources. It can be overwhelming and exhausting trying to find a fine balance.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
April 25, 2024

In the current economic climate, a growing number of university students here in the UK are facing severe financial strain which can prompt them to seek employment opportunities in which to bridge the gap between their growing expenses and available resources. It can be overwhelming and exhausting trying to find a fine balance.

With rising tuition fees and the increase in the cost of living, many students find themselves worrying about financial challenges that can have a negative impact on their ability to meet basic needs. Many students are having to take on either a part time job or a full time job as well as having to find the time to fit in full time education and study time so as to sustain themselves through university.

During university years, students have a multitude of expenses which of course vary from student to student but generally, expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation costs and bills, any current debts, insurances, travelling to and from university and work, textbooks and the many, many day to day necessary expenses need to be considered before any socialising or self care. With the looming pressure to excel academically, these financial burdens can significantly cause stress and impact the emotional wellbeing and ultimately the academic performance of students.

The concept of students taking on jobs to cover expenses is indicative of many other broader issues. The increasing costs of education coupled with low wages and limited financial support  can exacerbate the financial strain which is experienced by students with particular emphasis on those from disadvantaged or poorer backgrounds. In the midst of all of this is a real need for society as a whole to address these issues of inequality regarding the financial hardship of students and to  pinpoint the root causes. These issues include tuition fees, access to scholarships and grants and to improve the quality, quantity, affordability and accessibility to appropriate student housing.

In addition to the above, there is a need for greater interaction between education, those in authority who make the rules and policies and employers, to create positive and beneficial opportunities for students to gain meaningful employment which actually complements their academic pursuits without compromising their wellbeing in any way. Some good examples could be a pharmacology student who chooses to work in a local pharmacy, a nutritionist student who chooses to work in a supermarket or a literature student who chooses to work in a library - note the word choice! Of course, not everyone can choose their place of work if indeed they need to finance their studies and many students focus on doing their best wherever they are able to secure employment. I know of a Consultant Rheumatologist who funded his early years while at university by working in a pork pie factory!

By creating an environment that supports students’ financial stability and well being,  then those who are currently studying at university can be given the opportunity to thrive academically while pursuing their long term goals and aspirations without undue financial burden.

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