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Support for working undergraduates: the view of academic staff

Curtis, Susan (2005) Support for working undergraduates: the view of academic staff. Education and training, 47 (7). pp. 496-505. ISSN 0040-0912

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Abstract

Purpose – To investigate the attitudes of academic staff towards providing practical support for full-time students working on a part-time basis during term-time. Design/methodology/approach – A case study of a rural faculty of a large metropolitan university in the UK. In-depth semi-structured interviews were held with 22 members of staff, drawn from every department in the case study faculty. Findings – Support for working students is arbitrary and accidental. The majority of staff are unaware of the extent of student employment and of the possibilities of providing support. Research limitations/implications – Only a small proportion of the total university staff were interviewed, coupled with the fact that the faculty is rural and therefore the sample may not be representative of the majority of universities which have city centre campuses. Practical implications – Improved awareness of students' total university experience on the part of academics may encourage practical measures to assist the undergraduates to cope more effectively with their dual roles of student and worker. However, some forms of support, such as greater flexibility in the timetable, may be very difficult, if not impossible, to accommodate. Originality/value – No other research appears to have been carried out in the UK on this topic.

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