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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Avon calling for Oxford students
Oxford students
Ding-dong: Avon is knocking on doors at Oxford University
Students at upmarket universities are being invited to become Avon cosmetics sellers to pay their way through higher education.

Avon is recruiting at freshers' fairs at universities including Oxford and University College London.

The cosmetics firm says joining its part-time sales network will dovetail neatly with studying.

Almost half of students now have part-time jobs during term time, raising concerns about their workload.

The US-based cosmetics firm says that the drive to recruit university students as sales staff is part of its plans for a "golden renaissance".

'Girl power'

Describing itself as an "iconic girl-powered beauty brand", Avon currently has 170,000 people in its sales network - which it now wants to expand.

Avon says that it is recruiting at freshers' fairs for the first time this year - with a sales pitch offering students a way of reducing their borrowing.

Students can earn a commission worth a fifth of every 100 worth of goods they sell.

Avon's door-to-door approach to selling cosmetics was launched in the United States in the 1880s - but the name "Avon" was adopted by the company's founder in 1939, after a trip to Stratford upon Avon in England.

The company, which became synonymous with the "Avon calling" catchphrase, was launched in the UK in 1959.

Part-time jobs have become an increasingly significant part of the university experience in the UK - in response to the arrival of tuition fees and increasing student debt.

A major survey last year found that students were working an average of 16 hours per week in term time.

There have also been warnings from university funding bodies that excessive hours in term-time jobs was damaging the academic achievement of some students.

Students 'work 16 hours a week'
07 Aug 06 |  Education
Term-time working 'lowers grades'
23 Nov 05 |  Education

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