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Birkbeck's evening tuition makes it easy for students to earn whilst they learn, contrasting with national picture, according to a new survey

The data shows the increasing need for higher education institutions to provide flexible teaching and learning options.

Birkbeck’s evening provision makes it easy for students to work whilst they learn, advancing their career and helping them finance their studies and most do so, in contrast with the national picture where a third of UK students cannot find a part-time job that fits around their academic timetable, according to a new survey. 

The survey of over 1,000 students across the UK reveals that a third are unable to secure part-time jobs. The data also revealed 70% of students have considered dropping out of university, citing the rising cost of living as the leading reason. 

This national picture contrasts with the student experience at Birkbeck, where the College’s evening teaching model and flexible learning approach makes it easy for students to work whilst they study and most have part-time or even full-time jobs. 

Evening and flexible learning attracts a range of students, from school leavers, to career changers, to those looking to upskill, to retirees learning for pleasure. It also means that a vast majority of Birkbeck students, 95%, are in work or further study six months after graduating. Birkbeck graduates are better placed to get ahead in a competitive job market, as the evening teaching model means many students work, intern or volunteer during the day to gain invaluable workplace experience and improve their job prospects, as well as support themselves financially. 

Paddy Munyui graduated last year and studied BSc Business whilst also running his own music management company. Paddy really valued having daytime freedom:I liked the fact that Birkbeck allowed me keep my days free to attend meetings and planning sessions with music industry people and my artists.” 

The survey, conducted by Opinium in partnership with software provider TechnologyOne, also revealed that 72% of students working part-time said their study timetable got in the way of securing more hours at work and a majority of students (57%) said their mental health was adversely affected by their university class timetable. 

As students seek more flexible learning options from higher education institutions, Birkbeck has already adapted to provide learning that combines in-person and online teaching with the highest quality online learning resources. Most Birkbeck undergraduates learn at on-campus in-person classes that are supported by online teaching and learning resources and many postgraduate students can choose how they want to study attending either on-campus in-person or online classes, or a combination of both. 

Birkbeck has been at the forefront of innovation and flexibility in higher education since it was established 200 years ago to educate working people. That’s why the College is in the process of installing new ‘Hyflex’ technology into classrooms, that synchronizes learning in physical classrooms seamlessly with online learning. The new technology will help ensure that time poor students, who balance studying with work, can attend and participate fully in lessons whether they are in the classroom on Birkbeck’s central London campus or joining remotely. It will also enable students to catch up by watching high quality recordings of classes they miss, and it will be used to establish a virtual reality and immersive learning environment.  

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