Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Fe News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Fe News

Article excerpt

Lessons don't pay the bills, say students

New College Nottingham has had to deal with a strike, but not from staff. This time it was about 150 students who walked out. It's easy to joke about student strikes: "If they withdraw their labour, who will notice?" etc. And the students perhaps aren't helping to dispel such an image given that the walkout is planned over proposals to increase the college day by 45 minutes. Lazy students, eh?

Well, maybe. Principal Amarjit Basi says that no one is likely to have a 9am to 5pm schedule for more than two days a week. But students' main concern is that a number of them signed up for the courses in the expectation that they could combine them with part-time jobs, which may now clash with college. With the loss of the education maintenance allowance, they can't afford that.

What this episode shows is how squeezed staff and students are on all fronts: colleges are having to work staff harder and pack the timetable to be more efficient, while students need more and more time to earn money to fund their courses. …

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