University Leisure Time and Student Workload Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Question 10 of the interview was asked to know how the students managed their study time in which the Middle East male asserted that no particular time is fixed for study at all. The Middle East female is more organized and managed than Middle East male. She keeps friends and studies close. She has a proper timetable for herself and gives extra hours in library if necessary. Her timetable is for ten days ahead. The European female is a hardworking girl. Thus she manages her time so smoothly, it's effortless. The African girl has no particular time of study. She studies when she feels like. The African male feels the same way. The Chinese female is a bit complicated. She uses iPad to manage her life. The Chinese male is very flexible and manageable. Once again, the key finding here is that all students have their individual set of strengths and weaknesses as learners and they set plan their learning process and strategy accordingly. A lot of institutes struggle a lot with the amount of dropouts due to overload of work and the long time it takes for the course to complete. At least one third of the students from OECD countries dropout of their institutes before the course is completed and most of them drop out in their first year only. This high rate of dropout is not favorable for the students, society and institute.

The international students also find difficulties because of the cultural and norm differences in language and education, but it does not entirely mean that they all do badly in their studies. In response to the fifth question, which dealt with similarities and differences between their country of origin and their current destination; the Middle East male asserted that the undergraduate was relaxed and carefree. The Middle East female feels the same as there is a huge difference. She had a presentation to give as a teacher, while being here; she has to work so much. The key finding in this question is that subjects are not giving a negative vibe, which would normally be the case, if they are overloaded. In question 5 of the survey, 76 per cent of the students accepted their great interest in the MSc program while 40% accepted that they had less workload in the previous degree. In contrast to the local students, the international students are expected to work harder because of the differences they feel in the new country. Comparatively, it is easier for the local students to adjust to the environment because they are surrounded by their own people while the international students have to adjust to a totally new environment, learn their language and perform their studies in a new language as well. While a lot of students find the environment similar to their own home country, others find it difficult and have to work with more concentration in order to not disappoint themselves and their families.

As mentioned above, the students have in order to fulfill their expectations and succeed in their studies throughout the university have to devise a proper timetable and manage their time. In relation with this, the third question of the interview tells about the details of the student's week and how each one spent it. The Middle East male, the Indian Female and the European Female worked hard during the starting days of the week while the African female, the African male and the Chinese male had a less stressful routine. The key finding here is that the initial problems faced by the Chinese female also seemed to have been overcome and that she seems quite motivated to pursue her education further. In contrast, the international students adapt quickly to changes and they should be appreciated in studying in the language that is not familiar to them rather than being criticized over it (Bowyer, 2012). The sixth and seventh question of the survey revealed that on an average, students expect 15 hours on independent individual and for group study in a week excluding class hours. 40 hours are the maximum hours which student expects to spend according to this survey along with minimum 3 hours in a week. Question 8 of the survey also revealed that when an assessment is due, the students study 20 hours a week whether individually or in a group.

The institutions nowadays are accepting a more diverse population however with that acceptance; they are not addressing the needs of every student. A lot of students are re-entering the college with a large gap in their education and such students lack confidence in their abilities; however they show motivation to learn (Hester, Cunliffe, & Hunnisett, 2013). Some of these students are also juggling between their personal lives and jobs and they need extra attention from their faculty in order to feel accepted and motivated. In relation to this, the students who were surveyed mostly had a job experience before being enrolled in the MSc program. 27 respondents (45% of total) revealed that a major reason for undertaking MSc management master's degree was to raise the probability of seeking a good job. While in the eyes of 13 respondents (22% of total) attaining the higher level of education is the major reason for seeking admission in MSc. But on the other hand 10 respondents (17% of total), 9 respondents (15% of total), 1 respondent (2% of total) think that the reason for joining is increasing their knowledge and getting overseas experience and others respectively. Furthermore for the Chinese female, learning English was a huge undertaking as it's difficult to speak and write at the same time. She was assisted by her tutors. English language was also found out the be one of the factor because the higher the level of the language, the more easier it was to handle the workload while low level of the English language made the students feel more pressure and workload. This is mainly the issue with the international students whose first language is not English and they first have to cross that obstacle in order to be able to learn. According to a survey, 80% of international students do 60 hours/week of studying while 11% spent 61 to 100 hours/week and other 60% found it very hard to cope with the work provided by the institution. Additionally, in the fifth question of the interview, the Chinese female says that she is facing a tough time with studying and understanding English; but for the Chinese male, his classmates were from all over the world so he had no difficulty in speaking or writing in English. The European female also had no problem with the English language as she had studied in America for some time. The findings here reveal a mixed picture where some students are finding it difficult to cope with the courses, while for others it is a walk in the park. The difficulty may have to do with how well the students are able to understand and converse in the English Language, as pointed out by one student.

The students find the course to be of mixed values and while some find it manageable, the others find difficulty with the skills of English language. According to question seven of the interview, the international students find the course interesting even though it was alien. It is too much hard work for the Middle East female, but they work together and get good numbers in the end. It is time consuming for her too. For the Indian female, life is too hard work and tons of assignments are to be given to respective teachers; but with time come skill. The European female had a different field before. Now she combines both fields making her a unique candidate. The African female says Nigeria was based on rote learning. Learn everything and appear in exams while over here, learn and summarize is more like it. Then, work load is less and life is quite flexible. The Africa male is a slacker and works when required. Not more and more less. The Chinese female is still embroiled in learning English; but she says she has time to learn and teachers are flexible too. Another survey regarding the engineering students stated the sources of stress for engineering students which included the difficult nature and high level of the curriculum as well as the workload; lack of sleep and huge amounts of assignments that they have to complete and grade competition among the classmates. The results of this study corroborate the findings of Garmendia et al. (2008) who asserted that European Engineering students on average study between 20 and 37 hours weekly; whereas in this study, students studied somewhere between 15 and 40 hours. The key finding here is that all students have their individual set of strengths and weaknesses as learners and they have…

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