Australian social work students: balancing tertiary studies, paid work and poverty

Baglow, Len, and Gair, Susan (2019) Australian social work students: balancing tertiary studies, paid work and poverty. Journal of Social Work, 19 (2). pp. 276-295.

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It is commonly understood that enrolment in higher education means inevitable financial strain. In an online national survey in 2015, a sample of 2320 current students from 29 Australian social work programs reported on their experiences of juggling life, study and work. This article details preliminary findings regarding the impact of low levels of income on the lives and study success of an Australian student cohort, and offers a considered comparison to relevant available data. Students in this study reported regularly going without necessities, and identified that a lack of finances and long hours in employment were adversely affecting their study experience. These problems became acute during compulsory field placements. The purpose of this study was to illuminate social work students' complex study realities in order to inform future education, policy and practice. The findings identify that for these students, adverse outcomes including poverty and disruption to studies may be increasingly difficult to avoid. This situation may not be confined to this cohort or the Australian experience. There appears to be an urgent need for national bodies, universities and students to join together in advocating for increased support for tertiary social work students.

Item ID: 52753
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1741-296X
Keywords: social work, social work education, poverty, work, students
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2018 01:17
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 100%
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