Go back

In praise of flexibility

The distinction between part- and full-time study is unhelpful and should be abolished, argues David Maguire.

Around half a million undergraduates study part-time in British universities, nearly 30 per cent of the total undergraduate population. Some 97 per cent are home students, around 90 per cent are over the age of 21 and part-time undergraduates are even more likely to be female than full-time undergraduates. They are also more diverse: their ages, work experience, family and career responsibilities, motivations for study and intensity of study are all different.

And part-time students are likely to become even more diverse. According to economists from the US Bureau for Labour Statistics, over the course of the average person’s working life an individual can expect to hold 10 different jobs, partly because people are living and working longer. Often this will entail career as well as job changes. Part-time study can often be the route by which individuals already in the labour market are able to boost or realign their skills in order to meet new challenges. Studying has become an activity that people return to several times during their careers, rather than a one-off event that ends by the age of 21.

This article on Research Professional News is only available to Research Professional or Pivot-RP users.

Research Professional users can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.