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Full-time Student, Part-Time Worker: Good Medicine or Poisoned Pill?

Author Paul Dervan and Aidin O'Sullivan
Abstract Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) tend to promote their programmes to students based on full-time or part-time participation. This 'segmentation' approach (presumably) pre-supposes that full-time students are available and willing to engage during the day, while part-time students will engage at night or at week-ends thus allowing them the freedom to carry on with their careers during the day. In this context, the authors use the word 'engage' to mean students attend at a campus or participate in facilitated on-line sessions from a remote location. This research paper seeks to explore broadly the validity of this 'segmentation' approach and its underlying supposition that 'full-time' students are in fact available to engage on a 'full-time' basis. The paper estimates the degree to which Irish higher education students who engage in term time employment (TTE) are participants in Ireland's workforce at a macro level and discusses the consequences (both positive and negative) of such participation. The paper also presents research conducted at the authors' institute which reveals the extent of TTE by full-time business students, the industries they work in and the degree to which students believe their work experience is helpful to their studies. In terms of structure, the paper begins by evaluating the extent of TTE by full-time students and the implications arising. This is followed by a presentation and discussion of the findings from primary research. The paper concludes by summarising key findings and identifying steps for colleges to consider in supporting the working full-time student (with most full-time students fitting this description).
Keywords Student, part-time working, TTE, engagement, attendance, industries, employers, learning
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2018
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