It's just a hard life being a student in the 1990s

Mark Rowe on those who work to pay to learn

THOUGH many students claim to doze off during a boring lecture, Taz Azeez would have more excuse than most. For when he attends morning classes at Chilterns University in High Wycombe, he has often come straight from a night of work as a security guard in west London.

Three nights a week Taz, aged 21, works from 7pm to 7am for a security firm, earning pounds 5 an hour. In a month he earns around pounds 600 after tax. He is one of a burgeoning number of students working around the clock in order to fund their studies.

A recent survey for the GMB union and the National Union of Students established that 40 per cent of full-time students work to boost their income, with nine per cent of these working more than 21 hours a week and that few get paid for long or anti-social hours. A further 73 per cent work more than eight hours a week, while 59 per cent have worked late at night. "I do it for the money, though I don't need to earn as much as I do," said Taz, who is in the second year of his degree in Product Design and Manufacture. "I get a grant of pounds 1,700 a year. That doesn't even cover my rent, which is pounds 200 a month."

The work is routine: sitting at a desk in Staines or Epsom in Surrey. "You can be fairly tired the following day and there comes a stage where you want to sleep," he said. "But you can get by on a few hours sleep over a week. Sometimes when I'm driving back on the motorway in the morning I ask myself why I do it."

There is an unexpected bonus in working at night, he suggested. "I do get a lot of my studying done."

The GMB union said that Taz's case "was not a one-off". According to the union, 750,000 students in full-time education also work, earning an average of pounds 3.38 an hour. According to the GMB, two-thirds who work during term time feel it affects their studies. The GMB is also anxious that a recommendation on the minimum wage by the Low Pay Commission could propose that students qualify for only 85 per cent of the new minimum wage. The union says this would cost a student pounds 1,000 a year.

The NUS said greater numbers of students were working longer hours in order to fund their studies. "They're having to go to work at night or skip lectures to earn money," said a spokeswoman. "The maximum loans are not sufficient. We don't mind the fact that grants are being phased out as long as more money is made available for loans," she said.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Technical Project Manager - Software and Infrastructure - Government Experience

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...

Head of Business Studies

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Business Studies needed for a ...

Teaching Assistant in secondary school Manchester

£11280 - £14400 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Teaching a...

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits