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Many University Students Engage in Paid Employment. Discuss the Impact of This on Their Academic Performance and Their Overall Experience at University

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STATEMENT OF RESEARCH TOPIC
Many university students engage in paid employment. Discuss the impact of this on their academic performance and their overall experience at university.
ABSTRACT
Many university engage in paid employment for various reasons such as earning extra income, work experiences. Working while studying provides a stronger basis of working experience for later professional graduate employment and also earns a considerate amount of income that supports the basis of living against the rising inflation and cost of tuition fee. However it is possible that this has detrimental effects on a higher GPA. Not that students lack of intellectual value but rather this is a choice to emphasize on working more rather on studying. Studies have found that there is a direct correlation between increasing working hours and decreasing performance in studying. In this report, it will analyze the relevant data from primary sources and other secondary sources to identify how those reasons and other differentiating factors such as gender, language background, attendance and hours of work would affect their academic performances as well as social experience.
BACKGROUND and LITERATURE REVIEW
Craig Zimitat, 2003, The first year experiences, Griffith University.

The report mainly focuses on the impact of employment within the timeframe of first year student. The data is collected via Griffith survey in large distribution and organized in three groups. The first group represents full-time students not in paid employment. The second group consists of full-time students in full-time paid employment with few family responsibilities. The third group includes full-time students in full-time paid employment who are primary income earners in their household. The study found that there is an increment of attendance in flow of the first group where other responsibility is inactive and thus they have more time to focus on their studies. This is however, in contrary of the second and third group, the lower attendance rate reflects a negative impact on their performances on their GPA. Surprisingly, the study have indicated the drop-out rate of the second group to be highest (48%), this is hypothesized as they are less motivated and having mental as well as stamina constraints. The third group represents a higher mental strength as they are mostly mature-age student with a higher strive to success and more motivation from family thus continue their study.

P.J. Cybinski, 2011, Impacts of a Changing Student Learning Culture on Performance in an Undergraduate Business Maths Course, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
This report is selected as it has a large proportion of its studies on the impact of cultural background on overall performances. The study is relevant to the primary sources as it represents the English background factor and also gender factor as a variable. The consensus of the study and its secondary found the correlation between the increments of absenteeism and paid work with decrease in performances at university. The tendency found is that ESL student tend to have a higher attendance rate, this is explained as their tuition fees are higher so they want to value the lectures and tutorials, and also they are imposed on a working restriction on their visa. As to gender, the researcher found a correlation between higher attendance rate for female and higher average GPA than male. This might reflects on higher organizational skills for female and their tendency to focus better.

Doug Lederman, June 8, 2009, The Impact of Student Employment, Inside Higher Ed (DOI http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/08/work#ixzz2S0WsqafJ)

This is another subjective article that mentions another factor of student attendance on overall performance, location of workplace. However, unlike other articles, the main focus is about student work location and its tendency to improve university experience. "Work doesn't really have much of a negative effect on cognitive-type outcomes like moral reasoning and critical thinking until you get to a ton of hours," said Salisbury. "But work has a positive effect on things like psychological well-being and leadership even when you're working a ton of hours." The article found that working while studying provides no disadvantages but what matters is it depends on where they work and their intellectual capabilities. Students work less than twenty hours a week on campus represents a higher engagement rate than other student work off campus. Thus university workplace provides a more adequate environment for educational engagement as well as higher performances.

James Cross, 2006, Engaging Diversity At An Australian University: Chinese International Students' Perceptions Of Their Social Experience While Studying In
Australia, Edith Cowan University.

This report mentions that there is a lack of interaction between international and local students in most university. The main factor is that most international student experience from language barrier and also their way of studying is different and inherent from the country their education originated from. It also stresses that to improve university experience, increasing social experience for them has to be considered. “Lacina (2002) points out that it is important for the university to consider not only the academic experience of international students but also the wider social experience.” It is hinted that the higher engagement rate would increase their performances academically as well as their mental strength to overcome stress.
METHOD
The method used includes a questionnaire that provide a basis of the primary source. It contains open-ended questions, multiple choice. The data is assessed multiple times and SPSS is used as this is also an inferential statistics to give the report more reliability.
DATA and ANALYSIS
The study carried out on a sample of twenty random students of the same age group on Griffith campus. Their identities are undisclosed and the results are graphed. It is found that despite the same attendance rate and even higher work hours, female tends to achieve a higher GPA. As seen of the graph, the correlation between gender and higher achievement provide a more objective view on the higher intellectual and organizational skills on female.

Descriptive Statistics | Gender | N | Min | Max | Mean | Std. Deviation | Male | Gender | 10 | 0 | 0 | .00 | .000 | | Attendance | 10 | 70 | 100 | 84.50 | 11.414 | | Work_hours | 10 | 0 | 25 | 11.50 | 9.144 | | GPA | 10 | 4 | 7 | 5.40 | 1.265 | | Valid N (listwise) | 10 | | | | | | Gender | 10 | 1 | 1 | 1.00 | .000 | | Attendance | 10 | 65 | 100 | 84.50 | 11.414 | | Work_hours | 10 | 0 | 25 | 16.00 | 7.746 | | GPA | 10 | 4 | 7 | 5.60 | .966 | | Valid N (listwise) | 10 | | | | |

**Female average GPA is recorded as 5.6 where as for the same constant of attendance, male achievement is lower at 5.4. It is possible to hypothesize that female tend to attend less social experiences such as clubbing, etc. there-fore they tend to focus more on study.

Descriptive Statistics | Background | N | Minimum | Maximum | Mean | Std. Deviation | native | Attendance | 10 | 65 | 100 | 81.00 | 9.944 | | Work_hours | 10 | 10 | 25 | 17.50 | 5.401 | | GPA | 10 | 4 | 7 | 5.10 | .994 | | Background | 10 | 0 | 0 | .00 | .000 | | Valid N (listwise) | 10 | | | | | ESL | Attendance | 10 | 70 | 100 | 88.00 | 11.595 | | Work_hours | 10 | 0 | 25 | 10.00 | 9.718 | | GPA | 10 | 4 | 7 | 5.90 | 1.101 | | Background | 10 | 1 | 1 | 1.00 | .000 | | Valid N (listwise) | 10 | | | | |

Another factor the primary source have identify is that ESL student tend to attend lecture more and it reflects on their higher GPA (5.9>5.1). To explain the correlation, it is stressed that ESL student pay much more for their tuition fee, they are mostly depended on their family back home to assist them financially. International student have a higher stress limit thus can withstand the psychological detriment of being homesick and therefore more motivated to study and achieve better results, also it is noted that they are restricted to work more than twenty hours per week, most of ESL student have minimal relatives in Australia and most of them live on campus, thus a better environment for them to study due to less distraction. Whereas native students, they tend to find work outside university easier and it is a choice to work more and engage in non-academic activities therefore it tends to decrease their academic engagement and lower their grades.
LIMITATION
There are several limitations in the design of the report. As this is a student report, there is a lack of fund so the sample of distribution was lower than adequate size (of 20 students). The individual approach of the report might not reflect all the views possible on the subject and decrease the credibility of the report. However, the alternate hypothesis is raised that there is a significant effect of higher work-hours to study performances and an individual might be able to give a more subjective approach thus increase the diversity on the topic of discussion.
CONCLUSION
From this research it is clear that many students engage in paid employment (more than 80%), and it is found that there is a direct correlation between attendance’s rate and overall performances at university. The alternate hypothesis is proven to be correct. Students who work more and have more responsibilities tend to attend less lectures and tutorials and achieve a lower GPA and otherwise. The benefits of working more include better social experiences, however student must balance between their academic and social experience, and too much of any is not good as it would increase stress either way.

Questionnaires (please fill in the most appropriate)

1. Are you male or female?
-M/F
2. Are you an overseas student?
-Y/N
3. What is your usual attendance’s rate in a week?
……
4. Do you work?
…….
5. How many hours to do work a week?
…….
6. What is your current GPA?

References:

P.J. Cybinski, 2011, Impacts of a Changing Student Learning Culture on Performance in an Undergraduate Business Maths Course, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Craig Zimitat, 2003, The first year experiences, Griffith University.

James Cross, 2006, Engaging Diversity At An Australian University: Chinese International Students' Perceptions Of Their Social Experience While Studying In
Australia, Edith Cowan University.

Doug Lederman, June 8, 2009, The Impact of Student Employment, Inside Higher Ed (DOI http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/08/work#ixzz2S0WsqafJ)

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