Higher Education

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 261–280 | Cite as

The work–study interface: similarities and differences between ethnic minority and ethnic majority students

  • Marieke MeeuwisseEmail author
  • Lonneke A. L. de MeijerEmail author
  • Marise Ph. Born
  • Sabine E. Severiens


Given the poorer academic outcomes of non-Western ethnic minority students compared to ethnic majority students, we investigated whether differences exist in work–study interface between ethnic groups. We tested a work–study interface model, in which the work-related factors work–study congruence, job control, job demands, work hours, job involvement and job support were antecedents to work–study facilitation (WSF) and work–study conflict (WSC). WSC and WSF, in turn, were expected to predict students’ study effort and subsequently students’ grades. This model fitted well for the full sample and both non-Western ethnic minority students (N = 167) and ethnic majority students (N = 666) separately at a large Dutch university. Results showed that work–study congruence, job control, job involvement and job support led to WSF, which in turn led to more study effort and higher grades. Job control decreased WSC and both job demands and the number of work hours increased WSC. WSC was negatively associated with study effort which resulted in lower grades. These structural relationships, as depicted in the conceptual model of work–study interface, were similar for both the group of non-Western ethnic minority students and the group of ethnic majority students. However, ethnic minority students worked more hours per week than ethnic majority students, which partly explained—via WSC and study effort—the lower academic outcomes for this group.


Role combination Work–study interface Academic success Higher education Ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Education and Child StudiesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamthe Netherlands

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