Students risk losing income from paid work during the COVID-19 crisis

Norway, 08 May 2020

By Anna Lena Keute, Kristine Sundberg
Statistics Norway

With the spread of the COVID-19 across the globe, students in higher education are affected in many ways. The Norwegian EUROSTUDENT team at Statistics Norway has taken a look specifically at students’ paid jobs – which many are now at a risk of losing.

Especially among international students, income from jobs accounts for an important share of the total income. While Norway is one of the countries in Europe with the largest share of working students (see EUROSTUDENT Thematic Review on the topic here), the issue potentially affects students in all EUROSTUDENT countries.

More than half (53%) of Norwegian students work during the entire semester. Additional 19% work from time to time, and only a bit more than a quarter (28%) do not have paid work alongside their studies. International students in Norway account for 6.4% of the student population. It is common for this group to have a paid job during their studies. The share of employed international students resembles the share of employed domestic students: 51% work during the entire semester and about 26% do not work at all.


How much is at risk?

The median income from paid work for Norwegian students working during the entire semester is 10 000 NOK (1 029 ¤) per month. The amount is slightly bigger for international students reaching 12 000 NOK (1 235 ¤). We can see similar tendency among students working from time to time - income from paid work is bigger among international students (4 100 NOK or 422 ¤) compared to the Norwegian students (3 000 NOK or 309 ¤).

Hence, income from paid work accounts for a somewhat bigger share of the total income among international students compared to their Norwegian mates working alongside their studies. The importance is enhanced further by the fact that not all international students can claim national student support. Moreover, there might be gaps in the national student support in their home countries. While 80% of Norwegian students receive such support, only half (50%) of international students can claim this as their source of income which makes them more dependent on other income sources.