Part-timers have it hard: more commitments and responsibilities but much less support than full-timers, as the biggest survey of their lot to date shows. But changes in the political agenda could improve matters. Rebecca Attwood reports
Forgotten, ignored and stuck "at the bottom of the food chain", they are the Cinderellas of the higher education sector.
Part-time students make up almost 40 per cent of the UK's student population and more than half a million of them study in England's universities.
But, despite their numbers, those who care about the subject have argued for many years that part-time undergraduates get a raw deal, often suffering from inadequate financial support and a lack of attention to their needs.