More students are spending time to work instead of studying. According to a survey conducted by banking and finance company HSBC, university student working rates score high globally at 83 percent. In Malaysia, even 9 in 10 students work whilst studying.
The report for HSBC’s study entitled “The value of education – The price of success” released on Monday (Aug 27) showed Malaysian university students are taking paid employment alongside their studies to help bridge a significant gap between the cost of studying and funding from their parents. More than half respondents (66 percent) say they need additional money.
On average, Malaysian parents admitted that they contribute about RM24,100 for their children’s higher education. However, many students consider that this number is far from enough to cover their university expenses. Estimating that they spend RM67,600 over the course of a degree on tuition fees, accommodation, bills and lifestyle costs, these students need to fill a significant gap of RM43,500 from other sources.
The survey found 7 percent parents admitted that grandparents help fill some funding gaps for their child whilst at university. Friends, bursaries, loans, or their child’s own income are other key sources of funding as well. Not wanting to solely rely on contributions from family, some students are turning to work for a part-time job to fund their education. Nearly 1 in 3 students surveyed said they will need to cover part of the costs associated with their degree through paid employment, The Star Online reports.
“Malaysian students spend a large proportion of their time in paid employment – an average of 3.4 hours a day, more than they spend in the library (2.1 hours) or studying at home (2.3 hours).
“Separate research on the topic suggests that when the number of hours worked per week by a student exceeds 20 hours, it has a negative impact on grades,” the study said.
However, the same piece of research also concludes that the academic performance of students who work 10-19 hours per week was superior to their peers.
The survey also noted that while the paychecks they receive from their job might be going to pay the school fees or cost of living, they are also spent on other necessities such as clothes, make-up, and entertainment. The average Malaysian student over the course of their studies spends RM5,728 on going to restaurants or on takeaways, RM2,872 on clothes and make-up and RM2,600 on entertainment such as going out to bars, nightclubs or the cinema.
According to HSBC’s study of more than 10,000 parents and 1,500 students across 15 countries, university students face a shortfall in funding despite receiving funds from parents to cover their undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
HSBC Malaysia’s head of retail banking and wealth management, Tara Latini, said: “It’s clear from our research that many parents are committed to funding their child’s university education, but in reality, the costs are often much higher than they’re prepared for.
“With student finance presenting an increasingly complicated picture, many students are finding alternative sources to keep up with costs, including paid employment and borrowing from friends, family or personal loans.
“Over half of the Malaysian parents with a child at university worry that they don’t have the financial resources to support them, and over two third say they wish they’d calculated a budget for their child’s university education in advance.
“It’s clear that preparation and having honest conversations as a family are vital to help alleviate financial pressures for both students and parents.”