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The part-time predjudice.
Jobs whilst you are a student
Member Name: squishyratkisser
Jobs whilst you are a student
Date: 14/12/01, updated on 14/12/01 (102 review reads)
Advantages: Erm, none really., She doesn't have to write, the termly essay?
Disadvantages: As stated.
OK. Leaving the old squishyrat wit behind for a second. I've just emailed this to Glasgow's Broadsheet paper. Just a thought for one of their articles in the education supplement.
It regards one of my peers - let's call her 'Student X' for ease.
Student X was delighted to be accepted at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music And Drama for a Batchelor of Arts in Musical Studies.
This degree with selective honours is a full time one, although, this being a performing arts school, students are expected to put in many hours of practise outside academy hours.
First year, spent in student flats, was never an issue with council tax. Then End-of-Term exams reared their ugly heads, and Student X, despite obtaining the highest mark in her class for performance, failed a minor assessment.
Student X did not return home for the summer break this year. Instead, she chose to spend as much time as possible practising for her resit, although, with no student loan funding available over the summer months, she found herself having to work full-time to support herself.
The resit arrived, and, very unfortunately she failed by a tiny margin.
This meant she was unable to pass to the second year of the degree.
Thus began the complications.
Having obtained such a high mark for her practical performance, Student X was informed that she would be able to resit the assessment again in 2002. In the meantime, she was accepted on to the Continuing Education Course, as a bridge between years one and two.
The Student Loan Company informed her that she was ineligible for a loan of any description from themselves, as it was not a full-time course. They suggested she tried Hardship Funding, for which she was turned down.
The gist of the part-time problem is that in an ordinary academic establishment, people expect students on a part-time course to only attend classes for a few hours a week. The spare time
then would be taken up with a practically full-time job, thus earning enough to live on.
Nobody has acknowledged that in an establishment where the emphasis is placed on practical achievements and performance, that students here are told to spend (regardless of which Course)at least three hours a day practising. Add this to the academic assignments and other lessons, not forgetting orchestra or choral work, and it is easy for the layman to see how even a part-time job is difficult to maintain. Even a part-time course ends up being full-time
Which brings me on to the Council Tax problem.
No longer classified as a full-time student, Student X is now liable to pay council tax. She lives with another full-time student, and so receives 25% discount on the full amount due.
However: with an income from her weekend job of £60 per week, no student loan whatsoever and having to pay her fees (again, because of the part-time course factor) the presentation from the Council (obviously after losing all the necessary forms at least twice) of an £800 outstanding bill due in full by March 2002.
She is not eligible for JSA, as she would have to commit to looking for a full-time job. Which, of course, she certainly isn't. She's just trying to fulfill her potential through education, and is facing incredible difficulties.
It seems that through doing this course, she is automatically 'disabled'. Prejudiced against simply because the people she needs and deserves help from haven't taken into account the nature of her course. All they see is the word 'Part-time'.
Yes, it's just one situation, one very unfortunate individual. But there must be others out there in it.