Students’ Paid Employment and Academic Performance at Carrick Institute of Education, Sydney Campus
STUDENTS’ PAID EMPLOYMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AT CARRICK INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, SYDNEY CAMPUS Blaga, Sorin.Review of Economic Studies and Research Virgil Madgearu5.1 (2012): 5-22.
Turn on hit highlighting for speaking browsers Show highlighting Abstract (summary) Translate Abstract Thispaper identifies aspects of ‘students’ academic performance, in the Hospitality Department at Carrick Institute of Education, Sydney campus, Australia. The academic performance of these students is thought to be negatively affected by participation in paid employment and the language mostly spoken in their work place.
The research finding s show that students are deliberately engaged in paid employment for exactly the same reasons identified by the previous researchers, even though the students know that their academic performance may suffer. The paper also looks at how the languages spoken at their work place influence their academic performance. Most of the students at Carrick Institute of Education are international students and the language spoken at their workplaces often coincides with the students’ country of origin.
In spite of these negative effects, students continue to work even if they are financially independent, in order to build their work experience. The jobs are mainly in the Hospitality Industries. The research finding s open the way for future pedagogical and managerial research in the education sector. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT] Full Text * Translate Full text?? Turn on search term navigation Headnote Abstract: Thispaper identifies aspects of ‘students’ academic performance, in the Hospitality Department at Carrick Institute of Education, Sydney campus, Australia. The academic performance of these students is thought to be egatively affected by participation in paid employment and the language mostly spoken in their work place. The research finding s show that students are deliberately engaged in paid employment for exactly the same reasons identified by the previous researchers, even though the students know that their academic performance may suffer. The paper also looks at how the languages spoken at their work place influence their academic performance. Most of the students at Carrick Institute of Education are international students and the language spoken at their workplaces often coincides with the students’ country of origin.
In spite of these negative effects, students continue to work even if they are financially independent, in order to build their work experience. The jobs are mainly in the Hospitality Industries. The research finding s open the way for future pedagogical and managerial research in the education sector. Key words: academicperformance, course difficulties, paid employment, tuition fee, language JEL Classification: I20, I23 1. Introduction There is evidence of a growing trend in many countries for college and university students to combine their academic studies with paid work.
In the United Kingdom, for example, the number of students who are engaged in paid work has been reported by a number of researchers and shows a continuous growth beginning from the early nineties. For example, Sorensen and Winn (1993) reported that 27% of university students are engaged in paid work. In research carried out in the UK and the US Ford et al. (i995) reported that 29% of university students took a part-time job; three years later in the UK, Lucas and Lammont (1998) reported that 31% of students also took a paid job. Hunt et al. 2004) found that in 1999, 38% of students were engaged in paid employment and he also he reported 49% of students undertook paid work in 2001. Curtis and Shani (2002) reported that 55% of students had a paid job in 2002 and 59% in 2003. In summary, one can say that in the UK during the years 1993-2003, the number of students taking a part time job increased from 27% up to 59% which is an increase of over 100%. From the 1990s a similar trend has been reported in the United States by Stern and Nakata (1991) who found that the proportion of full-time students employed increased from 29% in 1959 to 43% in 1986.
Other evidence emerged at the end of the millennium (Luzzo et al. 1997; Hammer et al. 1998) which indicated that the work participation rate amongst United States students exceeded 50%. In continental Europe, ‘The Euro Student’ (2000) report found that student employment rates in Europe ranged from 48% in France to 77% in the Netherlands. In Australia, Anyanwu (1998) reported that 75% of full time students took up to 30 hours of paid work to support their studies.
In early 2000, a national survey conducted by Long and Hayden (2001) revealed that 72. 5% of full-time students were in paid employment. Applegate and Daly (2006), in a study conducted at the University of Canberra, Australia, showed that the impact of paid work on the academic performance of students did not have a large impact on students’ grades, and a slight improvement of students’ academic performance was even noticed in students employed in some jobs; however, working more than twenty hours per week had a negative effect.
Applegate and Daly’s survey found out that of the 78% of students who had a job, 40% of them worked over the legal limit of 20 hours per week. There is clear evidence showing that the phenomenon of students combining their study with paid work is wide-spread. The succinct literature review cited above, suggests possible reasons for this trend: the availability of jobs in service industries (the hospitality industry, in particular), rising student tuition fees over the years, changes in students’ personal lives, and family and community expectations (Stern and Nakata 1991; Ford et al. 995). The aim of this present research is to reveal the nature and extent of full-time college students undertaking paid work and the relationship of this work experience with their academic performance at the Carrick Institute of Education, Hospitality Department. Carrick Institute of Education is a private Australian education institution, which has been established since 1987, and provides vocational and academic education to over 5000 students1 from all over the world in campuses situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
One of the most popular vocational choices, among international students, is the Hospitality Department. The Hospitality Department enrolls over 2980 students in their Sydney campuses alone, in all forms of education. The popularity of hospitality courses can be explained by the relatively low level of course difficulty, and relatively high levels of part-time and full- time job availability in hospitality businesses, as confirmed by the following researchers Ford et al. (1995), Mclnnis and Hartley (2002) and Bradley (2006).
Most of the time these businesses are owned by students’ fellow countrymen who are more willing to offer them employment and make them feel more comfortable in the work place. The hospitality courses are also one of the most popular choices among international students as, later on, they offer the opportunity to apply for Permanent Residency in Australia. Many students, for various reasons, are not able to balance the work load they take on and the academic performance required by the Australian Qualification Framework and Vocational Education and Training regulatory body. This brings significant consequences.
As a result of the high number of hours in employment, students’ academic results are being affected and they perform poorly in the classroom. The high number of students deemed Not Yet Competent (NYC), which means failed in different stages and in different subjects, was 40132 and reflects students’ low ability in balancing paid-work and their studies. Another aspect of interest, addressed in this paper, is the possible relationship between the language spoken in the work place, international students’ slow improvement in their English Language skills, any adverse consequences in academic performance and later employability.
This research is significant as there have not been studies to address these issues in the area of Vocational Education in Australia for a significant period of time; certainly no studies have been undertaken in Carrick Institute of Education. There is an empirical understanding of the problems among management and therefore the research findings will offer a solid scientific base upon which to improve College policies and practice in respect of students’ undesirable academic results. 2. Aims and Expectations
The academic literature review shows clearly that paid employment is a normal component of contemporary student life (Curtis and Shani 2002). Student participation in the workforce has a number of positive consequences: students receive pay, become independent, learn to manage money, make social contacts, build self-confidence in acquiring a job, and learn generic skills which increase their employability. Some research, however, has documented a range of negative outcomes such as fatigue, lack of autonomy, social isolation, low pay, and high stress (Lucas and Lammont 1998; Mclnnis and Hartley 2002).
The aim of this study is to identify the extent and relationship between students’ paid employment and their academic performance at Carrick Institute of Education in the Hospitality department, taking into consideration the students needs to balance their personal life with work participation and academic performance. The researcher tested the following two hypotheses: Hypothesis i. The researcher expects that the excessive work load is a key cause of students’ performing poorly academically and explains the high number of NYCs. This situation could be created by many variables which will be clearly identified and analysed in the research.
To some extent these NYCs cannot be reasonably managed, resulting in an even more difficult situation for the students, such as cancellation of their student visas in extreme cases. Hypothesis 2? is expected that there is a relationship between the languages most spoken at the work-place and students’ slowness in improving their English language skills. It is assumed that poor English language skills are associated with poor academic performance and low employability. 3. Methodology used 3. 1 Sample selection The sample for this study comprised 70 students enrolled at Carrick Institute of Education, Sydney campus, Australia.
For practical reasons the participants were selected using a quota system, randomly selecting the students from each class according to their respective stages, 5, 6, 7, and 8. The researcher ensured the proportions of males and females sampled were representative the population of students enrolled at Carrick Institute of Education. Data was obtained from 34 females (49 per cent), and 34 males (49 per cent). Ages varied from 20 to over 30 years (Mean = 22. 4; SD = 5. 8). 3. 2 Questionnaire development A questionnaire containing 14 questions was developed for use in this research.
The questionnaire was developed through a series of tests and peer group discussions at the University of Technology, Sydney. The final version comprised three sections. The first section contained five closed-ended questions relating to the respondent’s paid work. Questions pertained to the extent of work performed, reasons for working, and perceived benefits of working. There was an illustrative question linking the study profile with the work performed, as a factor contributing to the education taken, and a question showing the students’ ability in finding paid employment in the field of their studies.
Two questions directly related to students’ academic performance (measured by their NYCs): students’ perception of the consequences of poor performance; and student perception of the College’s involvement in helping them to overcome these undesirable outcomes. In this case, negatively worded items were reverse-scored and responses to all items measuring common constructs were averaged to form a composite scale. The second section contained questions related to the second assumption and attempted to identify the students’ country of origin, language spoken at work and academic performance.
This section also contained a Likert-rype item aimed at identifying students’ perception of College involvement in helping them to overcome negative academic performance. The questionnaire contained an open ended question which was intended to identify students’ enthusiasm for the study they took and their future plans. The last section contained items seeking demographic information, including gender and age. 3. 3 Data Collection Research data was collected by distributing the questionnaires to four classes.
One class from each stage in the final year of study was selected to cover the whole range of students in the campus in the Hospitality Department. The respondents were chosen randomly based on their arrival time in class. Time allocated for responding to the questions was at the teachers’ discretion and the questionnaires were collected by the end of the day. Secondary data related to students’ academic performance was obtained from the College administration. 4. Results and analysis
The rate of subjects’ participation in this project was 87. 5 per cent; 80 surveys were distributed and 70 were filled in. From those 70 surveys, two were incomplete, representing 2. 85 per cent of the total participants and generating the No Answer percentage. For analysis purposes the following matrix was created: As revealed in Table 1, the researcher found that 84% of the students had a paid job which is well above the national average of 72. 5% of full-time students engaged in paid employment (Long and Hayden 2001). The increase of 11. % can be explained by the specificity of studies taken (hospitality) by students, and curriculum requirements that students should take paid works to gain work experience in the field of their studies. There was also strong pressure on students to take jobs in the hospitality industry from the Immigration Department, as a student qualifies for Permanent Resident (PR) visa requirements at the conclusion of their studies. Availability of part-time jobs in the hospitality industry may be another explanation for this phenomenon.
The survey revealed a low number of students with no job (13%) which gives invites speculation on their reasons for not taking employment: the students may be not the principal applicant for PR, or they may have gained the minimum number of hours required. This issue needs more investigation but is outside the scope of this research. The research gained more strength from further examination the work load taken by students. 15% of students took over 20 hours of work per week and, from private discussions, the researcher found that some students took paid jobs well beyond this limit.
To further explore the possibility that students’ grades dramatically deteriorated if they took over 20 hours of work per week is difficult as further development of the issue could lead students to self-incrimination. Immigration Department regulations stipulate that students on a study visa may only take 20 hours of paid work per week. In support of our findings, research by Greenberger and Steinberg (1986), Professor Warren Payne (2003) from Victoria University, Melbourne, and others, demonstrates that work interferes with academic performance only when students undertake in excess of 20 hours of work per week.
These findings were taken on board by Carrick’s policies and reflected in Australian Immigration Department requirements. Beyond thispointphysicalandintellectual resources are rapidly depleted and academic performance declines dramatically. The research shows that, apart from the need to earn money because insufficient funds were provided by their family, as declared by 53% of the participants, reasons for engaging in paid employment were to gain work experience (31. 45%), for social interaction and pocket money (13. 5%) and other reasons such as enjoyment, boredom, and the like (3%). Working and non-working respondents were not distinguished in terms of age, gender or marital status as these factors were not relevant to the topic of research. As expected, the number of students working in the Hospitality Industry was 79% which is in line with the College policies and government regulations. A surprising result emerges when the students revealed that they obtained employment without assistance (67%) and just 31% declared that they got help from family and friends in getting paid employment.
College student services which offers employment opportunities was not mentioned at all in this respect which raises serious questions about the purpose and efficiency of this department. In terms of academic results, 60% of the participants declared that they had no grade of NYC, which overall, is not a very good academic performance. Also 13% of participants declared they had one NYC, 10% stated they had two NYCs, 3% of students declared that they had three NYC, and 3% acknowledged they had four NYCs and a further 3% declared they five NYCs.
The most questionable category is that of 5% of participants declaring that they had over 10 NYCs which brings the total proportion of students with NYCs to 39%. The research findings strongly supported hypothesis 1 confirming the existence of a strong relationship between students’ work load and academic performance. As the Table 1 shows, 30% of students work in businesses where the spoken language is Mandarin and Cantonese; 35% of them work in businesses where Hindi or other languages from the Indian subcontinent is spoken; and only 26% of students declared that the language spoken in the workplace is English.
The last statement needs more clarification as ‘English language spoken in the workplace’ could imply that English was the only means of communication between employees and customers, or that English was the only means of communication between employees as a result of diversity in the work place. These findings do not clearly support hypothesis 2 as a research question and do not confirm there is a strong relationship between language spoken in the workplace and slow improvement of students’ English skills, with consequent detrimental results in academic performance and employability.
Because of the time constraint, the researcher has no ability to further investigate this issue. In terms of support received from the College to overcome the undesirable academic results, 73% of the participants declared that they had been helped to get over the situation, and 23% stated there had been no support for them. If we correlate the total number of students with NYCs (38. 5%) and those who declared that they did not receive adequate support (23%) we can assume that they are the same individuals or that there is some overlap.
As an organization Carrick Institute of Education is viewed as a very good educational institution by 10% of participants, good by 34%, neutral by 43%, bad by 4% and very bad also by 4%. The findings reveal a high number of students with an indifferent attitude to services and the quality of education offered. This will be a good question for management to investigate further. The researcher declines any further analysis of the issue which does not fit into the purpose of the topic.
The open ended question related to students’ future plans revealed an entire range of plans which can be categorized as: getting a good job (20%); embarking upon further studies (9%); starting a small business (7%); becoming a manager and chef (about 7%); getting PR (7%); and what is most intriguing, 29% of respondents declared that, ? Do Not Know'(IDNK). The analysis of this issue is beyond the scope of this paper. Data was obtained from 34 females (49%), and 34 males (49%). Ages varied from 20 to over 30 years (Mean = 22. 4, SD = 5. 8). 5. Discussion and Conclusions
This paper identifies aspects of academic performance thought to be negatively affected by participation in paid employment and the language mostly spoken in the work place. This research as well as that of Greenberger and Steinberg (1986) and Payne (2003) demonstrates that work interferes with academic performance only when students undertake in excess of 20 hours of work per week which was taken on board by Carrick Institute of Education and the Immigration Department as a threshold. The mean number of hours worked by students at Carrick Institute of Education is 15 hours per week and is similar to the averages reported in previous studies.
The jobs were mainly in the Hospitality Industries, similar to those reported by (Ford et al. 1995; Mclnnis and Hartley 2002). Indeed, in situations where jobs and study programs are closely aligned, positive effects may even be evidenced, because job experiences provide students with opportunities to develop values and skills that are transferable to their current studies, and the context of their future careers (Luzzo et al. 1997). Similar findings are reported by Hammes and Haller (1983) and Hay et al. (1970).
Findings in relation to the language spoken at the workplace shows that: 30% of students work in businesses where the spoken language is Mandarin and Cantonese; 35% of them work in businesses where Hindi or other languages from the Indian subcontinent are spoken; and only 26% of students declared that the language spoken in the workplace is English. These findings do not support Hypothesis 2 and do not confirm there is a strong relationship between the language spoken in the workplace and slow improvement of students’ English skills with detrimental results in academic performance and employability.
In clarifying this research question further work have to be done. This research was limited by the relatively small sample of participants and very limited time allocation. Future research should be carried out to obtain in-depth longitudinal data to enable temporal and causal relations between numerous other variables which need to be more clearly understood. This research is significant as there have not been studies to address these issues in the area of Vocational Education in Australia for a significant period of time and certainly no studies have been undertaken in the Carrick Institute of Education.
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Sorin BLAGA* AuthorAffiliation * Carrick Institute of Education, Australia. E-mail address: [email protected] net. au. Word count: 4095 Copyright Babes Bolyai University 2012 Indexing (details) Cite Subject Academic achievement; College students; Core curriculum; Language; Tuition Company / organization Name:Carrick Institute of Education-Sydney AustraliaNAICS:611310| Title STUDENTS’ PAID EMPLOYMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AT CARRICK INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, SYDNEY CAMPUS Author Blaga, Sorin Publication title Review of Economic Studies and Research Virgil Madgearu Volume 5 Issue 1 Pages 5-22
Number of pages 18 Publication year 2012 Publication date 2012 Year 2012 Publisher Babes Bolyai University Place of publication Cluj-Napoca Country of publication Romania Publication subject Business And Economics ISSN 20690606 Source type Scholarly Journals Language of publication English Document type Feature Document feature Tables;References;Graphs;Charts ProQuest document ID 1024823717 Document URL http://search. proquest. com. libraryproxy. griffith. edu. au/docview/1024823717? accountid=14543 Copyright Copyright Babes Bolyai University 2012 Last updated 2012-07-14 Database ProQuest Central