"All students are lazy and think only of themselves." Discuss.
De Montfort University students working on a mural at a women's centre for the Involve project
In fact, thousands of further education students all over the country are giving up their time to help others on a regular basis.
With national student volunteer week beginning on February 23 the organisation behind it, Student Volunteering England, is aiming to promote all this good work and encourage other young people to join in.
"Volunteering adds value to the academic curriculum by offering unique
learning opportunities for students outside the classroom," said its chair, Will Venters.
Help others and help yourself
Having an active volunteer programme in a college can attract students, he suggests. Once they get involved in activities they are also less likely to leave college before their end of their course.
"It's not just about helping others, it's also about gaining valuable experience in time management, teamwork and personal communication skills."
Ellie Matthews from Canterbury College says that volunteering to visit South Africa to help build a crèche for Zulu villagers has changed her outlook on life:
"Working side by side with a team of villagers from Kwadlakuse was a truly worthwhile experience.
"When you go to a place like that you look at your own life and realise how much you take for granted. The experience will remain with me forever."
Most students are involved in work closer to home.
Kaye Green, who co-ordinates student volunteer placements at York College, says many students want to link voluntary work with career ambitions.
With the help of the Millennium Volunteers scheme, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, her students find placements linked to their courses.
"Students get credit for the hours they work, leading to a national award," she explains.
"The most exciting part of the Millennium Volunteers scheme is the group work the students have to produce."
For the past two years a group of students at York College has created a sensory mural for a residential home for blind and disabled people. Others have been involved in a re-cycling project and in coaching women's football.
For Anila Khanna at High Pavement Sixth Form College in Nottingham, her interest in working in the media led her to voluntary work at a local radio station.
"Volunteer work has helped to build up my confidence and my communication skills, which will come in useful in the future," she says.
"You feel better about yourself as you are helping others and you get to meet new people."
Ben Miller from Canterbury College agrees: "All in all it's good fun,
and it gives you a sense of pride knowing you're a part of something and
helping others while doing so."
The Millennium Volunteers scheme, however, is now facing a funding cut. Colleges are finding themselves with the prospect of having to be selective in offering volunteer placements.
Faced with funding difficulties in the colleges, Student Volunteering England is still keen to get more young people involved in giving up their time.
"Involving students in the community should be a key aim for all further
education institutions," says Will Venters.
"Volunteering is an important part of developing active citizens. By
being involved in the community, students can experience first hand the
wider social issues facing it. "
He says 80% of student volunteers continue volunteering after they leave college. Once they try it they tend to get the bug.
"Volunteering is much different to what I expected," adds Anila Khanna.
"Many people think of it as working in an old people's home when really it can be volunteering in any area you want."