APPENDIX 36
Supplementary memorandum from Professor
Claire Callender, South Bank University (HE 154)[59]
NONCOMPLETION
1. In the 19989 Student Income and Expenditure
Study[60]
we found that 30 per cent of all fulltime students had thought
about dropping out of university. Of these, 38 per cent reported
that this was for financial reasons. So overall, one in 10 of
all the students surveyed had thought about dropping out for financial
reasons.
2. The Committee wanted to know if students
who lived at home with their parents were more or less likely
than students living independently to consider dropping out. There
was no statistically significant association between students'
thoughts about dropping out and their living circumstances.
3. Some 41 per cent of students who had
thought about dropping out and were living at home with their
parents said they had considered dropping out for financial reasons.
This compared with 34 per cent of students living independently.
However, this difference was not statistically significant.
TERMTIME
WORKING
4. Around 47 per cent of all fulltime students
surveyed undertook paid work at some point during termtime (ie,
they worked at least one hour during termtime).
5. The chances of a student working during
termtime was significantly associated with the following:
— Gender—women were more likely
than men to work in termtime;
— Living arrangements—students
living with their parents were more likely to work than those
living independently;
— Where students attended university—students
in London and in Scotland were more likely to work compared with
students attending university elsewhere;
— Subject of study—education
and socialscience students were more likely to work;
— Grant—students who received
a grant were more likely to work than those not receiving one;
— Debt—those with more debts
(once their savings were taken into account) were more likely
to work; and
— Financial difficulties  students
who were most concerned about their finances were most likely
to work during termtime. This finding, alongside the finding
about debt, suggest that students' work behaviour was influenced
by their financial situation.
6. Termtime working was not significantly
associated with students':
— Parents' socioeconomic position
(indicated by their occupation and employment status);
— family type (ie, single students,
lone parents, married students with and without children);
— their year of study; and
— whether or not they received a student
loan.
IMPACT OF
TERMTIME
WORKING ON
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
7. There was strong evidence showing that
a sizeable minority of students perceived termtime employment
as having a detrimental impact on their academic performance.
Some 45 per cent of all students who worked during termtime believed
it had negatively affected their coursework or studies at university/college.
This was primarily because they could not devote enough time to
their academic work. In addition, 44 per cent of all students
who worked during termtime identified parttime working as a
reason why financial difficulties had negatively affected their
academic performance.
MEASURING THE
HOURS WORKED
DURING TERMTIME
8. We have calculated the hours worked by
students during termtime in two ways.[61]
First, we have calculated the average number of hours worked for
each week that the student actually worked during termtime.
9. The drawback with this measure is that
students' employment patterns fluctuated, and often varied from
one term/semester to another. For instance, some students worked
just a few hours in one week but more hours in a subsequent week,
while some worked for just a few weeks in a given term/semester
but more weeks in another term/semester. Only a minority of students
worked the same number of hours each week, and every term. In
other words, calculating the average number of hours worked per
week for those weeks that students actually worked, gives us no
indication of the overall extent of students' engagement with
the labour market whilst studying.
10. Consequently, we have developed a second
measure for assessing the average number of hours worked during
termtime. This measure calculates the average number of hours
worked each week for the total number of termtime weeks, rather
than just for those weeks actually worked. So this measure takes
into account the number of weeks worked as well as the hours worked
over all term weeks.
AVERAGE HOURS
WORKED FOR
EACH WEEK
ACTUALLY WORKED
11. The average number of hours worked for
those weeks that were worked was around 14 hours, and the median
was 12 hours per week.
12. The average number of hours worked each
week ranged from one hour to 47 hours. Table 1 gives information
about the distribution of average weekly hours. A third of students
worked up to 10 hours a week, half worked 12 hours or more, and
over threequarters worked up to 20 hours a week. So, just under
a quarter of students worked more than 20 hours a week.
Table 1: The distribution of average weekly
hours worked in termtime—averaged over all weeks actually
worked
Average hours worked during termtime—over all weeks actually worked
 Col %  Cumulative %

Between 0 and 5 hours  8
 8 
5 to 10 hours  25
 33 
10 to 15 hours  26
 59 
15 to 20 hours  19
 78 
20 to 25 hours  10
 88 
25 to 30 hours  4
 92 
30 hours and above  8
 100 
Total  100
 
Weighted N  945*
 
* all students who worked in termtime (missing n=10)
Source: South Bank University—Student Income and Expenditure
Survey 19989
13. Graph 1 also shows the distribution of hours worked
for each week worked. It plots the overall patterns of hours worked
and shows that approximately half of the students who worked during
termtime worked between 7 and 17 hours per week when averaged
over all the weeks that they actually worked.
AVERAGE HOURS
WORKED FOR
ALL TERM
WEEKS
14. The average number of hours worked averaged over
all term weeks, including those weeks when the student did not
work, was 9.5 hours per week and the median was eight hours or
less.
15. The average number of hours worked each week ranged
from one hour to 39 hours. Table 2 gives information about the
distribution of average weekly hours. A third of students worked
less than five hours a week, over half worked up to 10 hours a
week, and threequarters up to 15 hours a week.
16. Graph 2 also plots the distribution of average hours
worked each week during termtime. It shows that half of students
who worked in termtime, worked between 2.5 and 13.5 hours per
week on average over all term weeks. As Graph 2 demonstrates,
there were some students who worked very long hours whilst they
were studying, with around 13 per cent of students working 20
hours per week or more.
Table 2: The Distribution of average weekly hours worked
in termtime—averaged over all term weeks (including those
not worked)
Average hours worked during termtime—over all weeks actually worked
 Col %  Cumulative %

Between 0 and 5 hours  35
 36 
5 to 10 hours  24
 59 
10 to 15 hours  17
 76 
15 to 20 hours  11
 87 
20 to 25 hours  8
 95 
25 to 30 hours  2
 97 
30 hours and above  3
 100 
Total  100
 
Weighted N  945*
 
* all students who worked in termtime (missing n=10)
Source: South Bank University—Student Income and Expenditure
Survey 19989
STUDENTS WORKING
20 HOURS OR
MORE A
WEEK OVER
ALL TERM
WEEKS
17. One in eight students (ie 13 per cent) worked particularly
long hours, namely 20 hours or more a week, over all term weeks.
The chances of a student working such long hours was significantly
associated with the following:
— Gender—men were more likely than women to
work 20 hours or more a week;
— Living arrangements  students living with their
parents were more likely to work long hours than those living
independently;
— Where students attended university—students
in London and in Scotland were more likely to work more than 20
hours compared with students attending university elsewhere;
— Subject of study  maths/computing and socialscience
students were more likely to work long hours while students studying
education and medicine were least likely to work such hours;
— Student loan—students with a loan were more
likely to work long hours than those without one;
— Debt—those without any debts (once their
savings were taken into account) were more likely to work 20 or
more hours a week while those with savings (once their debts were
taken into account) were the least likely to work long hours;
and
— Financial difficulties—students who identified
working parttime as the reason why their studies were negatively
affected by financial difficulties where more likely to work long
hours than those not citing this reason.
Professor Claire Callender
March 2001
59
See Minutes of Evidence. p 100. Back
60
C Callender and M Kemp (2000) Changing Student Finances:
Income, Expenditure and the Takeup of Student Loans among full
time and parttime Higher Education Students in 199899 DfEE
Research Report 213, Department for Education and Employment,
London. Crown copyright is reproduced with the permission
of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Back
61
These calculations are different from those cited in our report. Back
