Title

Myths and misconceptions about university student volunteering: Development and perpetuation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations

Publisher

Springer

School

School of Business and Law

RAS ID

40604

Funders

Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching

Comments

Paull, M., Holmes, K., Omari, M., Haski-Leventhal, D., MacCallum, J., Young, S., & Scott, R. (2022). Myths and misconceptions about university student volunteering: Development and perpetuation. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. Advance online publication.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-021-00437-4

Abstract

This paper examines myths and misconceptions about university student volunteering. Our study explored the experiences of students, host organisations and universities participating in volunteering in Australia, identify good practice, and discover barriers to success. A qualitative approach involved 60 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders. Students were often seen as being energetic, having flexible time and having skills associated with their studies. Some organisations, however, viewed students as unreliable, hard to manage and requiring specific programs. Some hosts were viewed as not valuing student volunteers, or not having the capacity to supervise. These perceptions were found to be nuanced. Erroneous myths were seen to develop from a single event, later confirmed by a ‘related’ event; in scenarios with multiple players, motivations, and complexities. The potential for misconceptions to undermine the true value of student volunteering for all stakeholders is ameliorated when there is common understanding, clear expectation setting, and ongoing dialogue.

DOI

10.1007/s11266-021-00437-4

Access Rights

free_to_read

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