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Revealed: Students aiming to boost their CVs give 28 million hours to charity – 09 June 2015

8 November 2016

UK students volunteer 28 million hours to charities in their communities, equaling over £144m in donated time, a huge student survey has revealed.

But while welcoming the news, experts from Unite Students say in the super-competitive world of ‘millennial’ students many are volunteering to boost their CVs.

The Unite Students Insight Report, conducted by NUS Services Research Department, surveyed over 8,500 university applicants, students and postgraduates on a wide range of topics.

The poll showed 28% of students volunteer, with well over half doing so within their term-time community. For each 100 students in an area, the community benefits from 1,600 of volunteer hours per year.

Some 48% of students believe getting the job they want at the end of their degree will be either “challenging” or “impossible”. That pessimism has doubled in two years. 

Unite Students head of HE engagement and student services Jenny Shaw said: “Students in 2015 seem under immense pressure, and are eager to achieve as much as they can from university. For some this can prove stressful.

“Student volunteering is a real win-win. Charities and communities benefit from the donation of time and skills while students gain valuable experience, which will help in what they clearly believe is a challenging jobs market.”

Public debate

Students give 28 million hours to charities in their term-time communities. The total time awarded to all charities by all students is 70 million hours – worth over £359 million. 

Jenny added: “It’s really positive to see such a huge donation of time and energy into local communities by students. The massive contribution of students to an area is often overlooked in the public debates on the issue.”

Unite Students is the UK’s biggest and most experienced student accommodation provider, with a business purpose of providing a Home for Success.

Other findings from the survey include:

• Students say ‘Wi-Fi’ is the most important feature of any accommodation, beating cleanliness – and even cost

• Undergraduates in 2015 are more likely to live in purpose-built student housing than a shared house

• Male students spend more on partying and shopping while female students worry more about getting on with housemates

The findings are revealed in the Unite Students Insight Report: Living. Two further reports – Finance and Employability – will be issued later in 2015.