Work and study in construction education : practices of undergraduate students in Australia

Mills, A. and Smith, P. 2012, Work and study in construction education : practices of undergraduate students in Australia, in ICEC 2012 : Proceedings of the 8th International Cost Engineering Council World Congress, International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC), [Durban, South Africa].

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Title Work and study in construction education : practices of undergraduate students in Australia
Author(s) Mills, A.
Smith, P.
Conference name International Cost Engineering Council World Congress (8th : 2012 : Durban, South Afica)
Conference location Durban, South Africa
Conference dates 23-27 Jun. 2012
Title of proceedings ICEC 2012 : Proceedings of the 8th International Cost Engineering Council World Congress
Editor(s) [unknown]
Publication date 2012
Conference series International Cost Engineering Council World Congress
Total pages 12
Publisher International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC)
Place of publication [Durban, South Africa]
Keyword(s) construction education
student employment
work-study conflict
Summary Purpose of this paper The aim of this paper is to determine the amount of time construction management students spend engaged in paid work and study during semester time. Past research has shown that working long hours has a negative effect on the study patterns of undergraduate students.

Design/methodology/approach Students responded to a questionnaire on the nature of their paid work while enrolled in full-time study in a sample of universities across Australia.

Findings The results showed that students are working on average 18 hours per week during semester time. The results indicate that students in their first two years tend to undertake casual work that is not related to their degree. However, this pattern changes in the later two years of the course, where students switch to roles in construction that do relate to their coursework. The students start working on average 15 hours in the first year of their degree, and the time spent rises to 23 hours in their fourth year.

Practical implications Past research suggests that students may be working to an extent beyond what is considered beneficial to their studies. The implications of the amount of time working and the type of work are discussed.

Originality/value of paper The long-term impact of high levels of work and study on construction students are unknown. The paper concludes by suggesting that universities need a greater awareness of the impact of paid employment on engagement with their learning.
ISBN 9780868868080
Language eng
Field of Research 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Socio Economic Objective 930502 Management of Education and Training Systems
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30048271

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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