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57 per cent of further education students volunteer

Tuesday 24-02-2015 - 15:36

As part of Student Volunteering Week, we’re pleased to release the results of research into volunteering among students in further education, conducted with the Association of Colleges.

We were thrilled to find that:

  • 57 per cent of students in further education already volunteer
  • 77 per cent of these students would be happy to volunteer even more
  • 59 per cent of students who don’t currently volunteer, would be happy to start

These are amazing statistics, and an incredible testament to the power of student volunteering across the UK.

We also found that the primary motivator for volunteering isn’t to gain experience or pad out CVs, but to improve things and to help people. And students are giving their time to do this in a massive range of ways too – from organising events and fundraising, to teaching and tutoring, to visiting people and providing care.

This is exactly what student volunteering is about: making a positive impact in the local community and beyond, in a huge variety of ways. We couldn’t be happier to see such amazing numbers of students already getting involved.

Still, there is more we could do. The research also explored the barriers to volunteering across further education.

For students, it was mainly an issue of time – whether owing to the demands of their course, paid employment or other obligations, this was the main issue. From the staff perspective, there was often seen to be a lack of capacity to provide these opportunities.

It’s up to all of us to explore ways of removing these barriers, whether it’s through integrating volunteering into courses of study and apprenticeships, or providing more formal infrastructures of support.Our research is evidence of the commitment to volunteering we already see across further education.

It also gives us a good platform from which we can make an even more positive impact. Let’s start doing that this Student Volunteering Week.

Read the findings in full here.

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