PSA Statement on Student Placements and Internships
8 June 2018
In light of recent political discussions regarding the payment of student interns and student placements, the Political Studies Association (PSA) encourages all to acknowledge a basic ethical standard: all work should earn a living wage. The PSA pays all interns a living wage and we encourage all political parties and universities to do the same. At the same time, we recognize the enormous academic benefits from student placements with political parties, within halls of Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh government structures, in local authorities, think-tanks or within the NGO sector. Students are not paid to learn and these placements do form a part of their academic course. Any reduction in placements, due to the unwillingness of either host institutions or universities to ensure equal opportunities for all through offering needed financial support, will exacerbate the gap between those with hereditary privilege to move amongst the political classes and those who, despite their desire and academic ability to excel in this field of knowledge, are without such privilege. The PSA strongly encourages all political parties and universities to not end student placements or internships but to reach agreements whereby those students in need have the financial support to take advantage of this important learning opportunity.