UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Student Volunteer Work and Learning : Undergraduates’ Experiences and Self-reported Outcomes Raykov, Milosh; Taylor, Alison, 1959-; Jamal, Sameena; Wu, Sirui


More than ever, university students are seeking work experiences to help them develop general and career-related skills before graduation (Holdsworth & Brewis, 2014). They gain this experience through unpaid or voluntary work as well as paid work. This report follows from our earlier report on undergraduate students’ paid work at UBC (Taylor, Raykov & Sweet, 2020), and explores students’ involvement in volunteer work, including their motivations for participating and its perceived benefits. Our research confirms that unpaid work often involves different motivations and has different benefits and challenges vis-à-vis paid work. It is also less visible than paid work and tends to be given less research attention. This report begins by identifying the kinds of unpaid work opportunities that are available for undergraduate students at UBC, before turning to a review of the literature on students’ unpaid work and our findings from surveys and focus group interviews.

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