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2019 December 25 - 2020 January 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Graduate students busy working part-time to make ends meet: Students’ network survey

January 7 and 8, 2020

A 2019 survey by a national organization of graduate students has shown that many graduate students have difficulty in concentrating on their research activities and studies because they are busy working part-time to cover tuition and living expenses.

The organization has conducted the survey of graduate students annually since 2004 to assess their financial conditions. Of the respondents to the latest survey, 58% were men and 40% women, and 53% were master course students and 39% doctoral course students.

According to the survey, 82% of the graduate students work part-time jobs and 24% said that they work 20 hours a week or longer, which is equivalent to working four hours a day, five days a week. Some respondents work part-time more than 40 hours weekly.

Asked why they work in part-time jobs, 90% answered that they need to cover living expenses and 67% to pay tuition fees and research expenses (multiple choices allowed).

In response to a question concerning how a limited income and expensive tuition fees affect academic activities, 49% answered that they have to do part-time jobs, including teaching assistant jobs (a job of teaching undergraduate students), 30% said that they have difficulties in purchasing books and other items necessary for their research, and 28% said that they cannot afford to attend academic gatherings and conferences (multiple choices).

Past related articles:
> Civil group urges Education Ministry to improve ‘grant-type’ scholarship program [August 4, 2017]
> Grad students survey displays their financial difficulties [December 24 & 25, 2013]
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