They work in order to study, even despite Bologna

Ivan Milosavljevic (22) works just to gain a working habit and discipline

By Anđelka Đokić

One third of the Journalism students in the third year of their studies in Nis have aside jobs, they work online, freelancing, cosmetic services, some use their talent, but most of them decide to work in café bars.

Among them is 20 years old student from Pirot. She had to work a year before in order to save for studies. Now she is a Philological faculty student, journalism department in Nis and works in a café. 

-That was the only way for faculty enrollment, I even moved earlier in Nis in order to get an employer’s trust so that I can later on to manage easily my working hours with the faculty responsibilities, said the student from Pirot.

She compensate the missed classes and lectures afterwards through on-line communication with her professors, over the internet. At least with those that are willing to help.

Among the group of one third of the students that work in Nis is Teodora Petrovic (23). She works even from the beginning of her studies.

-I’ve started to work so that I can have money for my basic needs and more importantly to ease the family budget since my family paid the studies expenses. 

While some students work because it is necessary so they can study, Ivan Milosavljevic (22) from Jagodina on the third year of his studies, says that he works just to gain a working habit and discipline.

-I’m studying on a faculty that does not take much time, therefore I use my free time to get an extra money and get working habit, that will mean a lot later in life, said Ivan.

Not all of the professors have understanding for these students, but one of them that supports them is Ivana Vlajkovic, an English language professor at the Faculty of Philology. She believes that having understanding for students’ absence should be number one priority. And in order to help them, she upload scripts and lecture notes online or on social media sites so that  they can be always available for the working students.  

-It is the fact that many students work because they need to do that and not to work so that they can earn some additional allowance besides the monthly budget they get from their parents, says Vlajkovic.

Apart from some professors‘ lack of understanding, students who work are having troubles with Bologna as well. The professor says that her experience shows that missing classes does not affect their English language excellence, which is not the case with other subject, she stresses. She helped her students in a way that she had released them from attending her classes, although according to the bologna process, the classes are mandatory.

-They are excluded from the common warnings in a way that they need to learn some extra study materials for the exam. I think that the students who work and study at the same time is praiseworthy, adds Ivana.   

The phenomenon where more and more students work during studies, as professor Ivana Vlajkovic thinks is a social issue that has a positive side.

-From one hand I feel sorry that these students cannot devote themselves completely to their studies and spend four years of careless student’s life while their families support them along  the process, but from another I’m sure that gaining early of working habits and communicating with different people can be beneficial later, says Ivana.

First generation students on the Journalism department at Faculty of Philology, which started their studies 11 years ago almost each and every one had worked as a freelancers, had volunteered, and there were even full time engaged. However, since the „Bologne decalaration“ introduced nine years ago, classes and lectures attendance is mandatory, which makes the opportunity for students to earn money harder.

Depending on the professors‘ tolerance, students either get signatures easily or get fined of 4000 dinars in order to enroll the next semester. That basically means that the students cannot take the exam that academic year, but they need to wait for the next one.