Higher Education Equity Literature Database

  • "I Have to be my own Mother and Father": The African Student Experience at University, a Case Study Using Narrative Analysis,

    Date: 2014

    Author: Lawson, L.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Case study of Sudanese student studying at QUT
    Aim: Provide insight into the needs of African students, and make suggestions for the ways that universities can respond to those needs.
    Conclusions: Experiences of discrimination, stigmatisation, inability to get a placement or work following graduation, social exclusion, failure of subjects a source of shame. HEB students may require more knowledge of career pathways to meet their aspirations. HEB students need a dynamic and relational approach to support at HE. Gap between lack of formal education in pre-arrival experiences means that understanding expectations of HE can be difficult. Refugees have a specific experience of migration and settlement that needs to be taken into account in the HE context. Implications: HE institutions need to orients students with language and learning advice, specialist career counselling, general life education, health and financial support, and extra tuition. The lack of career opportunities for these graduates upon completion of their degree is also going to be a new arena of concern in the future.
    Core argument: Refugee experiences in HE are complex and unique, but not able to be homogenised; HE institutions need to recognise the specificities of this group and provide support accordingly.

  • "Wrong way - go back": Preventing Educational Pathways from VET to Higher Education from Becoming Dead Ends.

    Date: 2013

    Author: Laming, M.; Kelly, M.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Nursing pathway at Murdoch University via credit transfer from TAFE that takes students directly into Year 2, meaning that they miss the transition programs in Year 1. Authors argue that missing the first year could contribute to higher drop out for these students. Description of changes to nursing education on p.2: students who have Diploma or Advanced Diploma become Enrolled Nurses (ENs); university-qualified nurses = Registered Nurses (RNs).
    Aim: To describe a Year 2 transition program to help EN/ Diploma articulants (who missed the standard Year 1 transition activities)
    Methodology: Students who attended EN transition/ orientation seminar; scoping questionnaire completed by students (n=15: 14f, 1m; 5pt/ 10ft; 13 = parents (most young adults) + follow-up interviews (n=6)
    Findings:
    Most common challenge = using university LMS (Moodle, Turnitin etc.). One student said they found enrolling in the program online difficult; 3 found enrolling in courses difficult. Students who described themselves as 'moderately confident' with IT said they would have liked more training on how to use LMS to access course materials.
    Transition seminar included:
    - academic skills workshops
    - study groups
    - access to a pastoral care advisor or mentor
    - better awareness among the academic staff of the differences between approaches to learning and assessment in VET and university
    Core Argument: TAFE and universities need to collaborate to ensure pathway does not become a 'dead end' (abstract)

  • 'I Don't Just Want to Do It for Myself': Diverse Perspectives on Being Successful at University by Social Work Students Who Speak English as an Additional Language.

    Date: 2015

    Author: Rowntree, M.; Zufferey, C.; King, S

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Examines experiences of EAL students (not specifically sfrb) in Social Work
    Aim: To critically examine the notion of success in higher education (specifically social work education); to unpack how success is conceptualised in the literature with ref to international, refugee and Indigenous students and to discuss data collected from empirical study. RQ: "How do social work students who
    speak EAL conceptualise success at university?" (p.5).
    Methodology: Small scale appreciative inquiry/ qualitative study with 9 CALD students studying UG or PG Social Work. Appreciative Inquiry = focuses on positives/ future-focused; participants asked to conceptualise, experience and imagine success at university. Questions asked:
    (1) What does success at university look or feel like to you?
    (2) Share a time when you felt most successful in your university studies. Describe what was happening at the time.
    (3) Imagine it is a year from now (mid-2014), and you are experiencing this same kind of success most of the time. What would be happening? What is needed to keep this experience alive? (p.6)
    Discussion:
    What constitutes success according to literature: western notions of performance = dominate (e.g. GPA, marks; to achieve academic benchmarks). Literature scoped = "shaped by unexamined assumptions (explicit and implicit) in which success is an externally (by the university or researcher) determined descriptor of the individual student" (p.3). CALD students offered treated as in deficit (draws on Smit, 2012) and success = hindered by 'problems' with English language. Cites work of Benzie (2010) = focus on English language proficiency contributes to 'othering' of CALD (particularly international) students. Scopes previous work (e.g. Wache & Zuffrey, 2012, 2013) which examined experience of African sfrb in social work - that work pointed to the lack of awareness of provision from T&L unit and instead preferred peer support; also, "Students reported a preference for
    learning in a social environment and stressed that 'thinking ability' is not affected by having English as their second or subsequent language" (p.4). Scopes literature that offers alternative community-based notions of success (see p.5)
    Conceptions of success offered by participants:
    On surface = connects with individual performance agenda (GPA average); also, reference to feeling good about writing a good assignment (personal achievement/satisfaction + grades). For most students = about getting a better job
    Being a good family member: meeting family expectations, role modeling for siblings/children, pleasing parents.
    Success for community: formal recognition (means to paid work) as community worker; "success at university is entwined with students' identities as successful family and community members" (p.11).
    Core argument: Notions of success = for CALD students, success = based on assimilationist understandings of success (adapting to criteria of host country) and broadly take an individual responsibility approach. "The implication for higher education, including social work education, is to find a way of acknowledging and building on these complex perspectives of success that will contribute to students' motivation to study" (p.12).

  • A Critical Account of Practice within an Innovative Foundation Degree in UK Higher Education

    Date: 2013

    Author: Smith, P.; Poppitt, N.; Scott, J.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Foundation degrees (FD) in England; work-based learning (WBL). Authors review literature on WBL; increasing pressure/ policy agenda to develop employer-engagement (with FDs developed as the 'main work-focused qualification' in the UK, p.602).
    Aim: To explore employer perceptions of an 'innovative' work-based learning (WBL) programme in a Leadership and Management FD; "to explore and critically analyse the perceptions and experiences of academics, senior university managers and employer representatives in relation to the design and delivery of this programme" (p.600); to respond to two RQs:
    "How do academics, senior university managers and employer representatives perceive the FD at Northern University?
    What are the critical themes relating to the design and delivery of the FD programme at Northern University?" (p.600)
    Methodology: Qualitative, case study; semi-structured interviews with: "the vice chancellor; the deputy dean of the business school; the WBL programme leader; the human resources manager and director of training from the Chamber of Commerce who were responsible for the programme and two WBL academics with teaching and management responsibilities related to the programme" (p.603). Data generation = narratives, with "storytelling [as] the exploration of stories as a mechanism for organisational learning and communication" (p.605). FD in the case study = winner of a national UK award for outstanding employer engagement in 2009 (see p.606 for detail of the FD)
    Findings:
    Policy-maker's perspective: policy/ funding cuts suggest that the government does not value FD (funding does not match the rhetoric), but authors note that 2012 review of university-industry collaboration advised the expansion of FDs. Policy-maker (ex-Associate Director of FD) suggests that government need to decide on funding, and whether FDs should be embedded in the workplace or for full-time students - and recognise difference. She argues that level descriptors should be different for WBL, and be assessed with competency framework (rather than pass/fail). Policy-maker also suggested that FD/ WBL should be offered only by post-1992 universities because older/ more elite institutions are too academic.
    Themes
    Intensity of learning experience: discussion of delivery (block delivery + master classes) and expertise of staff. Shorter periods of time (to fit with students' work schedules) = intensive bursts of delivery
    Tensions among academics: with regard to resourcing (not enough time to develop course 'properly' (see participant quotes on p.609) + change in delivery causing tensions for academics.
    Academic support for students: questions about how to support students after master class (possible suggestions: drop-in workshop with tutor for students before assignments due; support via VLE).

  • Becoming a student of English: Students' experiences of transition into the first year

    Date: 2018

    Author: Alder, E.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: UK/ Scottish higher education/ English Literature studies context. Identifies first year of UG study as 'critical time' [who doesn't??] - examines academic socialisation and academic literacies. Scopes UK literature on transition into university in discipline area of English
    Aim: To discuss investigation of students' experience of transition into an English literature degree and their formation of student identities; "to understand more about some of the factors affecting English literature students' successful transitions" (p.6)
    Theoretical frame:
    Methodology: Phenomenographic approach: series of (two) interviews with Year 1 students (n=8) and Year 2 students (n=4)
    Findings: Similarities with data reported in other studies: students = negotiating "new circumstances relating to their subject, institution, peers, and tutors to form their student identity" (p.8). Challenges = written assessments, note taking, reading, volume/ difficulty of work
    'Pull factors' = enjoyment of subject, sometimes related to feelings of pleasure at school and sometimes with long-term connection to subject
    Academic socialisation (students changing to meet demands of university) = discussion of shifting academic identities
    Academic literacies (ref to Lillis & Scott, 2008) = potential transformative effects of contextual approaches to studying literature and film - connected to sense of confidence, shifting notions of what English literature 'is' (a 'threshold revelation': Gourlay, 2009)
    Core argument: Need to develop pedagogies to support academic socialisation and academic literacies: "Both the struggles and positive experiences of these participants support adopting academic literacies approaches to pedagogy: that respect individual student agency and identity formation; in which academic practices and discourses are made explicit (rather than demanding a passive learning and following of the rules), creating a learning space in which students can actively form and articulate their own identity as academic; and in which as autonomous carriers of practices they have the potential to transform both outwardly and inwardly (the constitution of their academic world as well as their self)" p.15.

  • Caring in Teaching: A Complicated Relationship

    Date: 2015

    Author: Barrow, M.

    Location: USA

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    Context: US community college context. Author argues that idea that caring in higher education will cause harm [think spoonfeeding metaphor] might account for relative lack of attention to care in university contexts in academic literature - the list for university is short in comparison with discussions of caring in compulsory education, and the literature that does discuss ethics of care/ caring pedagogy = predominantly teacher training [and predominantly from USA]. Author summarises the literature that discusses care in higher education: Straits (2007) defines a caring teacher as "open, available, and responsive" (p. 172, on p.48); Haskell-McBee identifies 78 characteristics of caring teaching, with top 7: "offering help, showing compassion, showing interest, caring about the individual, giving time, listening, and getting to know students" (on p.48); Meyers (2009): ""concern for students," "respect-fulness and willingness to answer questions and foster interactions" (p.206, on p.48); De Guzman et al. (2008) describe it as using "class time productively, shares personal experiences in classroom discussions, and ob-serves class policies, among others" (p.498, on p.48).
    Aim: To explore "how developing caring relations with students at a community col-lege effectively supports students' needs and ultimately success" in dialogue with personal dilemmas (abstract).
    Theoretical frame: Noddings' ethic of care theory: engrossment, motivational displacement, and reciprocity for remembering back to being cared for in order to develop student-teacher relationship models
    Methodology: Offers 3 personal vignettes/ reflections of her own experience
    Findings:
    Vignette 1: I just don't belong here - mature age homeless man who carried his possessions with him to class + fears of not belonging hindering his contributions to class discussions. Author took time to find out his personal troubles and then offered him a regular meeting twice a week to help him understand what he needed to do. Author reflects that in her role as caring teacher she is "part of a larger network of people working together to support the students' needs" (p.52),
    Vignette 2: Being here is not my choice - young African American student who hated college. Author helped her to find a course she actually wanted to do.
    Vignette 3: we're all in this together - author initiated student participation in a 'Good Deed Day', leading to her being more trusted by students, and the students therefore divulging more about their lives with her.
    Challenges: caring "involves a serious time and emotional commitment" (p.54). Danger with caring, according to Noddings (1984: 12), "There is always the fear that with so much pressure the one-caring may find herself facing the risk that she will cease to care", and that "conflict and guilt are inescapable risks of caring" (p.18, both on p,54).
    "Entering into and sustaining a caring relationship with students is not always possible or plausible, given variables that have the potential to shut down these avenues of possible growth for both students and instructors. Also of importance is that not all students are receptive to an approach built on developing a relationship" (p.55).
    Author disagrees with Noddings that reciprocity in relationships needs to be observable
    Core argument: Offers a list of 'instructional recommendations' gleaned from the literature and listed above.

  • Characteristics, Academic and Post-university Outcomes of Students with a Disability at the University of Newcastle

    Date: 2001

    Author: Foreman, P.; Dempsey, I; Robinson, G.;Manning, E.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Under-representation of students with disabilities (SwD) in higher education. Authors note two significant policy/ legislative directives: A Fair Chance For All and 192 Disability Discrimination Act. Authors scope literature that suggests sensory and physical disability is most common in higher education students, and more are likely to be female and older (24 = mean age) and most likely to be studying in the Arts.
    Aim: "1) To determine the level of satisfaction with support services of students with a disability at the University of Newcastle. 2) To determine how academically successful these students are at the University. 3) To determine the employment status of students with a disability following graduation or discontinuation. 4) To determine whether there are any differences between students with and without a disability in relation to academic and post-graduation success.
    Procedure
    Theoretical frame: None explicit - quantitative methodology
    Methodology: Questionnaires, interviews, academic record analysis. 108 students responded to request to complete survey. Sampled from 220 students who had registered for support from disability support at UON (although 466 students had registered as having a disability so more than half = did not seek support from this service). Comparison group = matched on basis of age, sex, PT or FT, course/level, time studying. Of 108 respondents, 89 gave permission for research team to access academic records. Questionnaire asked for demographic, enrolment information, self-perceptions of academic performance and factors that aided/impeded studying. Statistical analysis of q'naire results.
    Findings:
    32% had physical disabilities
    12% had visual disabilities
    10% had medical disabilities
    22% had multiple disabilities
    Compared with matched group, SwD = older (more over 30) and more females. Most = enrolled in Faculty of Arts and Social Science (40% compared with 19%)
    Attitudes: SwD = 1st year students felt not doing as well as others, found it harder to cope with work, got same level of/ kind of support as others
    Support: SwD: fewer assisted by presentation of lecture material, presentation of tutorial material, more assisted by UON services, fewer assisted by assessment practices, fewer =access to library services
    Academic performance: SwD performed less well (lower GPA), more likely to withdraw, more likely to fail subjects
    Core argument: "students with a disability tended to be less successful than students without a disability, although there was no significant difference between the group in their reason for discontinuing studies, or in the extent to which they believed that the University had prepared them for employment. The disability group also experienced additional stressors such as lower income" (p.324)

  • Choice biographies and transitional linearity: Re-conceptualising modern youth transitions

    Date: 2006

    Author: Furlong, A; Cartmel, F.; Biggart, A.

    Location: Scotland

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    Context: Youth transitions (school and work) set against time of 'choice biographies' with transitions understood as non-linear and unpredictable (compared to earlier time). Authors argue that the assumption that transitions are fragmented = problematic and assumed; "systematic analysis of the extent to which transitions have increased in complexity and lost their linearity nor of the implications for young people of following non-linear as opposed to linear routes" (p.226). Authors argue that complexity of contemporary youth transitions are understated, and that the level of complexity is overstated
    Aim: To "contextualise these changes in an attempt to capture the degree of complexity characteristic of modern transitions and to explore the implications for patterns of labour market integration" (abstract); to describe a set of transition typologies
    Theoretical frame: Choice biographies
    Sets of transitions (education and work):
    Higher education: long HE (full degree) and short HE (on average studied for less than two years): on average relatively similar patterns of gendered participation and reasonable advantaged young people
    Employment transitions: leave school at 18 and directly into work; left school earlier and directly into work: on average, more women than men.
    Enhanced employment: employment via further education: people tended to be slightly more advantaged (less likely to live in deprived areas/ have parents in lowest social class)
    Assisted/ unemployed: government training schemes and not working. People in these groups spent much more time out of work or employment, tended to be poorer, tended to have low levels of qualifications, dominated by males.
    Domestic/ other: very small percentage, mostly with poor health outcomes: mostly female, tend to come from lower social classes, more likely to live in deprived areas.
    Authors analysis of participants in their study led to definitions of linear/ non-linear transitions (p.231)

    Linearity = "a fairly smooth and straightforward transition in which there are no major breaks, divergences or reversals" (p.230), but this now normatively includes short periods of unemployment; non-linear transitions "involve breaks, changes of direction and unusual sequences of events" (p.231). Both definitions crafted in relation to unemployment.
    Methodology: Longitudinal sociological inquiry (Youth Transitions: Patterns of Vulnerability and Processes of Social Inclusion - see p.226)
    Findings:
    Almost an equal proportion of linear and non-linear transitions observed
    Men = more likely than women to experience non-linear transitions (55% compared to 42%)
    For people making non-linear transitions, over a third of both m+f experienced a period of unemployment (+3m) following education, while 43%m and 48%f encountered their first period of unemployment after their first job or training program. 24%m and 15%f experienced no unemployment for a period of 3 years.
    Some participants experienced chaotic trajectories (with max 17 status changes in the male participants and max 15 for women)
    Max time spent unemployed = 7 years (men) and six years (women)
    Cluster analysis:
    Linear transitions = direct job transitions, long HE transitions and enhanced education transitions
    Non-linear transitions = short HE/ assisted transitions.
    Lots of complexity observed in non-linear transitions, and more disadvantaged young people observed in this group. These people:
    Tended to have fewer qualifications
    Were "less likely to have parents in the professional and managerial classes and more likely to have fathers who had been unemployed for over six months" (p.235).
    Regression analysis suggests "both males and (particularly) females having made a non-linear transition was associated with a significant reduction in the chances of being in full-time employment at age 23 while for males having been expelled or suspended from school was also significant" (p.236). Being male and unemployed for over 12 months significantly reduces likelihood of employment by age 23; for women, the number of moves made = more significant
    Core argument: It may not be true that transitions are getting more complex and the de-linearisation of youth transitions may "have been overstated" (p.238). There is a strong link between non-linear (complex) transitions and disadvantage.

  • Enhancing the transition of commencing students into university: an institution-wide approach

    Date: 2012

    Author: Nelson, K.; Smith, J.; Clarke, J.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: First Year Experience (FYE) in QUT: 'Transitions in Project' (TIP) - institution-wide program implementation = "premised on a holistic view of students and their university experience - specifically their FYE - and attempted to identify and embed good practice that focused on engaging students across an institution in a way that was sustainable beyond the life of the project" (p.186). Draws on literature from Krause et al. (2005), Lawrence (2005), Tinto (2005), Wylie (2005) to discuss the disconnected nature of transition approaches until Sally Kift's transition pedagogy. Offers overview of QUT and TIP and its 4 aims
    Aim: To describe TIP and report on its evaluations
    Theoretical frame: Biggs 3P model (Presage-Process-Product), 1999
    Methodology: Description
    Core argument: Transition pedagogy and six curriculum design principles = useful for implementing whole-of-institution approach to FYE

  • Evaluating admission criteria effects for under-represented groups,

    Date: 2016

    Author: Childs, R.; Ferguson, A.; Herbert, M.; Broad, K.; Zhang, J.

    Location: Canada

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    Context: Evaluation of admissions criteria and effects on under-represented students
    Aim: To take "a closer look at the effects that specific admission criteria and selection rules may have for under-represented groups" (p.659). Context = Ontario, Canada; has 20 HEIs
    Theoretical frame: Nothing explicit
    Methodology: Uses data collected from pre-service teacher education program on Indigenous and FinF students at University of Toronto (2011-12). 4078 applications for 1060 spaces in the program, 3238 of which met criteria for Ind/FinF students. Minimum eligibility requirements for program =three-year undergraduate degree, B-range average on the 15 best undergraduate courses, adequate English language proficiency as demonstrated by TOEFL scores or a post-secondary degree in which the language of instruction was English, and at least a 'Low Pass' rating on each of three essays (p.660).
    Applies two sets of analyses: 1) 'survival analysis' (form of regression analysis) to compare admission criteria against admissibility of applicants; 2) compares actual admissions decisions made against set of 8 alternative criteria
    Findings: Analysis 1) hazard analysis shows that under-represented students = higher hazards (less likely to survive) 3rd-4th phases (acceptable degree/ acceptable marks) compared with 'traditional' students
    Core argument: Admission criteria and selection rules = impact on efforts to reduce under-representation of particular student groups (e.g. Indigenous/ first in family)

  • Inspiring Young Working Class Males: a case study of a Primary School Outreach Project

    Date: 2016

    Author: MacDonnell, J.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Media outreach program in England with Year 3 school students in Hastings area (most deprived area in South East England). Local landmark (The Windmill) was undergoing renovations, so factual media project designed for outreach: excursion, photos + blog. Children learnt how to use equipment, take photos and literacies associated with writing a blog post. Visit facilitated by academic from Media + WP ambassadors. Follow-up session held in school a week after the excursion.
    Evaluation feedback highlighted the important role played by 'Andrew' - one of the ambassadors - with the boys in Year 3.

  • Marketing graduate employability: understanding the tensions between institutional practice and external messaging

    Date: 2019

    Author: Divan, A., Knight, E., Bennett, D.; Bell, K.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Marketisation of higher education v. reality of finding employment. These tensions are reflective of the inherent contradictions that universities currently face, between being sites of critical exchange and knowledge production, and competitive, market-based corporations. Dominant focus has been on human capital understandings of employability. Authors highlight that it is comparatively easy to measure graduate outcomes, but less easy to measure employability; the authors argue that a realistic measurement of employability should take into account individual characteristics, labour market demand and the ability of the graduate to navigate the labour market in the longer term (p.2). Research cited that says language used to discuss employability (by careers services) should be consistent, particularly to external (prospective student) audiences
    Aim: To explore how and why [inconsistencies in how employability is constructed internally and externally) might arise and we sought to highlight the consequences of misalignment in terms of curricular development and pedagogical approaches to employability (p.3)
    Theoretical frame: Holmes (2013) conceptions of employability: possessional, positional, processual approaches to developing a graduate identity.
    Methodology: Part of a larger study that examined employability in 107 universities; this article focuses on follow-up qualitative data (interviews with 16 academic and career development professionals from 9 different universities), asking three questions: What is your institutions working definition of employability? How does your institution promote an employability culture? What employability message do you give on the institutions website? (p.4). Data coded using Holmes framework. External messages on university websites. Data discussed according to national context.
    Findings:
    Half of institutions focused on human capital/ possessional construct
    Three institutions focused on processual (lifelong, identity, development) construct
    Most institutions suggested a fragmented relationship between academics, professional staff, students and senior management.
    Australia: interview data from two universities discussed their approach in ways that align with Holmes processual construction of employability (e.g. self-awareness, identity, lifelong learning), but analysis of the universities websites did not correspond with this framing, focusing more on skills. Interview participants flagged importance of distinguishing between graduate outcomes and employability, and were aware of the ways that university websites privileged a skills/ outcomes view and bemoaned the inconsistency of internal and external employability messaging across the sector (p.6).
    Canada: employability understood to be a newer concept in Canada, which was matched in analysis of websites (which found no evidence of the term employability being used). Instead, the dominant phrasing is career readiness, with suggestion on the websites of a sophisticated engagement with career development theories (p.6). In contrast, discussions with staff in one university suggested a more possessional construction of employability (skills acquisition), while a participant from another university indexed a more processual approach, but viewed the marketing of any idea of employability to prospective students as a separate concern to that of the work of the institution in supporting its students to develop their employability (p.7).
    UK: Participants from UK universities were aware that graduate outcomes = important aspect of marketing, which relates to mandatory reporting of Key Information Sets on university websites, which include graduate outcomes data. Employability generally discussed in progressive terms. Analysis suggests two divergent themes: 1) fatigue with idea of employability/ focus on outcomes and reputational currency
    2) a more processual construction (continuous, identity development, cognition).
    Core argument:
    ¥ Understandings of employability are rich and diverse (p.8) across institutions, national contexts, between public facing and personal representations/ constructions
    ¥ Consistent messaging is important but not evident
    ¥ Working together with a learning view of employability = optimal
    ¥ Positional approach = creates conditions for inequity (see Pitman et al., 2019)

  • Measuring the beginning: a quantitative study of the transition to higher education,

    Date: 2014

    Author: Brooman, S.; Darwent, S.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Examines transition in first year of study (Law) and measures change in influencing factors: self-efficacy, autonomous learning, social integration. Makes case that transition is complex, needs multilayered approaches and is often explored in evaluative or qualitative approaches - beyond induction models. Authors developed 'Independent Learning in Law' (ILL) = core module for active agents in transition
    Aim: "to gain a better understanding of the effect of our early interventions by measuring changes in those key factors...self-efficacy, learner autonomy and social integration" (p.1525)
    Analytic frame: Self-efficacy (e.g. Bandura, 1997), autonomous learning (e.g. Macaskill and Taylor, 2010), social integration
    Methodology: Quantitative. Measurement from Week 1, day 2 (T1) to Week 5, Day 1 (T2), with 'collateral elements': group-work poster + lectures and tutorials. Questionnaires: first year law students (n=195) administered at two points (T1 + T2). Measures: Self-efficacy scale (Bosscher & Smit, 1998). College Academic Self-efficacy scale (Owen & Froman, 1988), Autonomous Learning scale (Macaskill & Taylor, 2010). Developed social integration scale (3 subscales: sense of belonging, relationship with staff, old friends). Multivariate analysis (one and three-way ANOVAs) and correlational + cluster analysis.
    Findings:
    70% of participants = direct transition from school; 6.7% from Access course; rest = break in education
    Over time: self-efficacy and study habits did not change from T1 to T2
    Learning beliefs changed to the opposite of hypothesis: "students reported lower learning beliefs at the ened of the task than at the beginning" (p.1536).
    Old friends (social integration scale) did not change but sense of belonging and relationship with staff did change positively over the time period.
    Students who received greater support from staff = higher self-reported self-efficacy, autonomous learning beliefs and study habits.
    Gender, work and accommodation = significant
    Scopes limitations (e.g. other student groups and discipline areas)
    Core argument: Authors expectations of how interventions play out on were not met.
    Poster project = coincides with developing social integration
    Students who maintained old relationships = more likely to feel sense of belonging and supported by staff

  • Narratives of educational transition and learner identity

    Date: 2017

    Author: Choi, T.

    Location: Hong Kong

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    Context: Higher education in Hong Kong, expanded access (HK gov't = 60% of HK population to have access to HE in 2001) and English language. Disparity in numbers of rich and poor students (rich = 4 times more likely to gain access than poor counterparts); access to English language post-1997 Chinese take over is significant: "viable language for academically able students, and is perceived as a marker of competence, confidence, success, and status, which gives access to alternative realities in educational progressions in its highly visible academic hierarchy, through its post-colonial times" (p.168). English = "educationally profitable linguistic capital" (p.168).
    Scopes literature on working class students and educational biographies
    Aim: To argue that transitions = classed processes and practices with implications for identity; to "explore how academically able students from humble origins negotiate a new phase of learning and grapple with the class-coded culture of the new environment, in which relationships change, power is redistributed, and differing capital is prized" (p.168). To respond to two RQs:
    - How are educational transitions concurrently classed processes and practices in Hong Kong?
    - How is learner identity developed and negotiated in an education system that prizes English as capital? (p.168)
    Theoretical frame: Bourdieu = habitus, field, capital; author notes the dichotomies that often accompany habitus (reproduction/transformation; structure/agency; institutional/individual; resistance/change) = see p.165, but also notes Mills' (2008) contention that habitus can be both reproductive and transformative (see also Davey, 2009; Lehmann, 2012). Habitus also understood as collective and individual
    Methodology: Narrative approach/ 3 student autobiographies: "life stories can provide insights into how individuals develop their identities through negotiating the social contexts in which they are situated" (p.169). Autobiographies = in written English; project yielded 10 distinct trajectories from 20 participants
    Findings:
    All 3 profiled participants = foregrounded impact of families' limited 'educational inheritance', but parents had high aspirations for their children - this provoked feelings of guilt for the students if they did not achieve top grades (see p.171). Desire/ pride in being top = "related to the instrumental order of schooling
    seen as the acquisition of specific skills and knowledge (Bernstein, 1966) and to the demands of performativity in the highly visible academic hierarchy of Hong Kong" (p.172). 2 students expressed feelings of not belonging in prestigious schools (domain of rich where students spoke seemingly perfect English), reinforcing sense of difference/ subordination/ inferior/ embarrassment
    Core argument: [doesn't say much about transition as phenomenon or discourse - is more about students' classed experiences of their educational journeys]

  • Non-traditional students in tertiary education: inter-disciplinary collaboration in curriculum and pedagogy in community services education in Australia

    Date: 2013

    Author: Daddow, A.; Moraitis, P.; Carr, A.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Inclusive education and cross-discipline curriculum and pedagogy and language (drawing on critical literacy and community of practice). Set in post-Bradley educational policyscape = increase participation in higher education. Paper particularly focused on low SES and CALD students and is set in dual-sector university (VIC). Inclusive education = inscribed in higher education policy in Australia (see participation targets post-Bradley). Community Development and Social Work = high numbers of low SES and NESB students
    Aim: To describe efforts to integrate language and 'academic skills' into community services diploma. Initiative "aspires to not only support students' entry into the new academic terrain, but to enable students to adopt a critical stance to the discourses in which they are learning to participate" (p.480). To develop a curriculum and pedagogy "that built independent academic reading and writing skills for non-traditional students which gave them greater access to privileged disciplinary knowledge" (p.483).
    Theoretical frame: Funds of knowledge = design of pedagogy/ curriculum: "to harness this intersection between the familiar world of the non-traditional student and the unfamiliar world of academia and disciplinary knowledge in which they are entering, to create a clear framework to support this transition" (p.481). Draw on notion of discourse communities - allowing authors to reframe 'problems in student writing' as issues of identity. Draws on critical pedagogy to unpack the teaching of a critical stance
    Methodology:
    Findings: Access and participation = constrained by proficiency with academic and disciplinary discourses and literacies ('independent academic reading and writing skills'). Students often pass at diploma level because of adjunct support/language programs but they "do not necessarily have sufficient independent written language skills to function well in the workplace or in Higher Education" (p.482), and disciplinary knowledge = questionable (connects with Wheelahan's argument about stratification of VET/ HE knowledge and distillation of disciplinary knowledge in pursuit of 'competency'. Describes collaborative venture between discipline teachers and language experts.
    Working from theoretical vehicle of discourse community, positioned students not as deficient but as 'emerging participants in a new discourse' (p.484) by making writing practices of community services/ social work explicit (draws on Rai, 2004). Team taught (language teacher focused on disciplinary reading and writing/ discipline content taught by discipline teacher). Imported an academic research unit into diploma to teach 'academic skills' (co-delivered by English teacher).
    Feedback (anecdotal) = enthusiastic. Grades on assessments suggest that this implementation of language/discipline = successful
    Core argument: Need to recognise how practices and discourses = often experienced as dissonance by non-traditional students. Case study of successful embedding of critical language awareness into mainstream/disciplinary VET program (with transition implicit)

  • The Time of Reason and the Ecological University

    Date: 2015

    Author: Barnett, R.

    Location: United Kingdom

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    Context: Contemporary higher education/ modern universities: "Universities are increasingly dominated, or so it may seem, by timeframes of speed, brevity and urgency" (p.121). This is exacerbated by neoliberal pushes to do more with less (p.122) - as certain elements of governance and QA become more transparent and public, other elements become more tacit (globalisation/ ranking systems) - looks at 'time is money' argument in context of higher education. Economic time advances at the expense of convivial time (p.122). Author advances notion of epistemic time (time associated with making knowledge claims; p.123) - e.g. digital revolution and 24-hour working patterns
    Theoretical frame: Notion of ecological university
    Methodology: Essay
    Findings:
    Epistemic time = experienced on a disciplinary level (historians/ philosophers are more concerned with the past/ physicists are more concerned with the future) = "Each discipline or field, therefore, has its own collective time signature" (p.123).
    Term 'epistemic judgement' = reference to social time it takes to make a judgement = movements in time have epistemological consequences.
    Epistemic rhythms (see p.125)

  • What would a socially just education system look like?,

    Date: 2012

    Author: Francis, B.; Mills, M.

    Location: United Kingdom Australia

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    Context: Introduction to Special Issue. Starts by positioning an idealised 'socially just education system' out of reach in context of austerity measures (post-GFC), meaning that governments have clung tighter to neoliberal mechanisms and private investment and "subjected to processes of audit and competition, with the aim of driving up educational
    standards via the facilitation of consumer 'choice'" (p.577). In both UK and Australia, social inequity in higher education remains a salient and powerful set of determiners for participation and success. Authors express concern that sociological work that offers critique and constructive thinking about inequity and education are becoming "increasingly irrelevant to policy and practice" (p.577) - see for example inclusion of 'impact' in REF exercise in UK. Cite argument of Power (2010) that it is not surprising if such work is ignored when it rarely offers solutions to the highlighted problems: "We are arguably in danger of becoming knowing observers of sociological phenomena, comparing clever notes within our own exclusive circle, while practice and policies that exacerbate
    inequalities continue oblivious and unabated" (p.578). Authors set out to write about what a socially just education might look like (this is a Special Issue on that topic). Authors note that "whilst sociological work in education had been extremely effective in identifying social injustice in education, and in analysing the ways in which education systems reproduce inequality, it had been less good at proposing alternative models" (p.579).
    Core argument: In an attempt to answer the question of what a socially just education system would look like, authors note "we are currently so far from social justice in terms of both educational experiences and outcomes that we need to engage both pragmatic, 'short-term' strategies alongside deeper future thinking" (p.583)... "It is vital that our social justice ambitions are not dissipated by the harsh realities and (limited) possibilities of the present - we must continue to 'think big', and indeed to identify the limitations of the present" (p.584)

  • "Are we there yet?": Making Sense of Transition in Higher Education

    Date: 2015

    Author: Stirling, J.; Rossetto, C.

    Location: Australia

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    Context: Examines a first year transition program at UOW designed for students at a regional campus, whose students are mostly mature age, FinF, indigenous and/or low SES. Program set up because of observations (not primarily policy/funding imperative!). Programs are largely blended (range of technologies) but some students are not confident or familiar with digital literacies. Teaching staff = primarily casual which also brings limitations. Discusses arguments to embed academic literacies in disciplines/ within a subject. UOW = undergoing university-wide curriculum renewal "to ensure the integration or embedding of academic and English language teaching and learning in core and capstone subjects" (p.11). The Yr 1 transition program = sits outside of discipline but parts are explicitly aligned with curriculum-specific ALL requirements and has 3 tiers:
    1) pre-commencement "immersion" day [orientation]
    2) first semester weekly curricula-aligned seminar streams (critical thinking, researching, writing in specific disciplines)
    3) mid-year, day-long writing intensive
    Aim: Program aim: "to facilitate academic participation and hence retention in a higher education environment that relies on various multimedia technologies and blended learning models" (abstract). Paper aim: to offer insights from evaluation of program: record student attendance, rate each module using likert-scale and collect 'student commentary'. Authors note that their program aligns with Gale & Parker's 'transition as induction' conceptualisation, leading them to question what transition means to students/ and seek to achieve a 'transition as becoming' process
    Theoretical frame: Praxis approach [?]; draw on notion of palimpsest to "think through the complex layering between subjective responses of students to the demands of academic writing and the (con)textual product" (drawing on Yancey, 2004; p.16)
    Methodology: Discussion of evaluation strategy (p.12-13) based on measuring attrition/retention rates + qualitative student commentary. Offers series of narratives/ representative student accounts
    Findings:
    Discussion includes complexities of blended learning (opportunities gained and lost through use of virtual technologies. For example, first year, first semester mature age indigenous student doesn't know how to use technology (doesn't know about the mute button for example) and is too bewildered to ask questions but tutor feels under-recognised because s/he is going extra mile to create creative, high quality learning materials. Authors argue that, "What is at stake here are the competing realities between point-of-delivery normative assumptions made by an overworked and under-supported subject lecturer.... and an at-a-distant student" (p.15). Other students note how their transformations jostle with home/work/previous identities. Working from notion of palimpsest, authors argue that to judge students by academic literacies conventions "places important differences and the politics of identity inherent in diversity and social inclusion under erasure" (p.17). Evoking the palimpsest offers reminder ('reclamation') of previous writing; "historical inscription and current inscription are coherently incommensurate" (p.17). Authors note that students' "sense of location, dislocation, re-location, can have profound effects on a student's capacity to learn and to also take satisfaction in that learning" (p.17)
    Core argument: There are core tensions between teachers, equity students and ALL: "We argue that too often subject lecturers, equity students and, indeed, ALL teachers, become entangled in the sometimes competing imperatives of teaching directives and equity policy implementation" (p.11). Authors call for radical change ('recalibration') of what transition means in context of widening participation and technological change.