Experiences of struggle : findings from a longitudinal study

Leathwood, Carole (2003) Experiences of struggle : findings from a longitudinal study. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 1 (1). pp. 7-10. ISSN 1740-5106


A growing body of research suggests that ‘non-traditional’ students face particular and additional difficulties and barriers to successful study in higher education, reflecting educational and other inequalities related to class, ethnicity, gender and age (Bird 1996, Allen 1997, Bamber et al. 1997, HEFCE 1997, Britton and Baxter 1999, National Audit Office 2002, Archer et al. 2003, Read et al. 2003). Drawing on data from a longitudinal study of undergraduate students that is being conducted at this university, this brief paper focuses on students’ constructions of their experiences at university. As Reay et al. (2002) discovered, for many ‘non-traditional’ students, studying in higher education is characterised by ‘struggle’, and this was something that has emerged as an important theme in the research reported here.

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