In 2015/16 Postgraduate Education Officer Laura Ho commissioned a survey into the experiences of part time students. This research aimed to provide insights into the specific needs of Bristol's part time students by exploring their experiences. This research was particularly pertinent given the decline in part-time student numbers that has been seen since the rise in fees in 2012. Between 2010/11 and 2014/15 there was a 38% drop in part time undergraduate numbers and a 19% drop in part time postgraduate taught numbers. The survey was open to undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. Overall 236 students filled in the survey, giving a 13% response rate.
The survey found that over 30% of part time students were in full-time work and 34% had childcare or other caring responsibilities. Work/life balance was a key area of concern for part time students, as were financial concerns. 27% reported reducing their hours of study as a result of financial pressures. There was also very little awareness of support services offered to part time students by the University.
The report was presented to the University of Bristol's Student Experience Committee and recommendations included increasing staff awareness around the part-time experience, supporting the social lives of part-time students and improving communication around the support currently offered to part-time students.
Below you can read a full report of the findings of the research. If you have any questions about this research you can get in touch with our Research and Evaluation Coordinator Alice Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org).