Oxford university part-time jobs

Oxford uni called ‘patronising’ for job advice despite banning its students from working

Oxford’s policy on part-time jobs reads: ‘Term-time employment is not permitted except under exceptional circumstances’

The University of Oxford has been called “patronising” for offering career advice encouraging students to get part-time jobs at university despite banning its own students from doing so.

The post on X (formerly Twitter) was part of a thread on “How to build work experience” from Oxford Uni’s careers team.

It reads: “Part-time jobs can be an excellent way to gain work experience while studying. They can range from retail, hospitality, and administrative roles, and they provide opportunities to develop your transferable skills and build your professional network.”

But people have started to call out the post for being “ironic” and “patronising” since Oxford students are banned from having part-time jobs in term time “except under exceptional circumstances”.

Oxford’s official policy regarding part-time work for undergrad students reads: “Term-time employment is not permitted except under exceptional circumstances and in consultation with your tutor and senior tutor. During vacations, you will be required to complete academic work and this should take priority over other commitments. However, the Careers Service can help you to find work experience placements during the vacations, with the agreement of your tutor.”

Under exceptional circumstances, students can have a part-time job, but only if it is discussed with their college tutors first. Also, no student can exceed 20 hours of paid work per week.

Oxford students are also told that a minimum of 40 hours a week must be dedicated to uni work. Oxford’s policy on part-time work adds: “Study at Oxford is very demanding. We would strongly advise against you relying on income from employment to fund your studies as this may have an adverse effect on your ability to complete your course to your full potential.”

Oxford grad Benedict Yorston quote tweeted Oxford’s post and said he hid his work from the university: “I hid the fact I had set up an (education) company for my entire degree, as students are *banned* from doing any work whilst at Oxford. (Most) Professors unsupportive of sports participation let alone jobs There should probably be some connection between
@uniofoxford and reality.”

Other students have said that the ban on part-time jobs at Oxford has discouraged them from applying to the university.

One person said: “Except Oxford doesn’t allow undergrads to have term-time jobs. It was one of the major factors in my decision not to apply. I could not afford university at the time without working alongside my degree. Luckily there were no such issues at the other Russell Group unis I applied to.”

A mother of a potential applicant replied to a thread about this and said: “Really?? My son has been told to apply. There’s no way he would be able to if he’s unable to do some part-time work though, as I’d have three children at university to support.”

Another Oxford graduate, Madeleine Ross added: “I do love patronising careers advice but given that Oxford students are quite often literally *banned* from having part-time jobs during term, this is really funny.”

The University of Oxford has been contacted for comment.

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