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  2. C,CE&ES Group 7: Tuesday 16th March, 11:20 - 11:50

C,CE&ES Group 7: Tuesday 16th March, 11:20 - 11:50

  1. 2.16 Going it Alone: A Qualitative Approach Investigating the Key Barriers and Challenges for Estranged Students Studying in Higher Education in Scotland
  2. 2.17 Hearing the voices of disengaged students during outreach evaluation interviews

2.16 Going it Alone: A Qualitative Approach Investigating the Key Barriers and Challenges for Estranged Students Studying in Higher Education in Scotland

Samantha Macrae, student and researcher, University of Glasgow

Click to download 2.16 Going it Alone: A Qualitative Approach Investigating the Key Barriers and Challenges for Estranged Students Studying in Higher Education in Scotland (.pptx)

Watch the recorded session

Abstract

A qualitative study into the challenges faced by estranged students in Scotland in terms of their student experience, in the areas of finances, accommodation and emotional wellbeing. Key policy recommendations will be made to alleviate such challenges for future students and ensure that lack of family capital is not a barrier to higher education. This research stems from an inside understanding of estrangement and the challenges faced by estranged students, with personal experiences being discussed in relation to this research. This research was carried out in fulfilment of MA (SocSci) Social and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. 

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2.17 Hearing the voices of disengaged students during outreach evaluation interviews

Robert Zivtins, Imperial College London 

Click to download 2.17 Hearing the voices of disengaged students during outreach evaluation interviews (.pptx)

Watch the recorded session

Abstract

This presentation revisits the concept of interview rapport in the context of outreach evaluation. I make the case for persevering with students who initially appear disengaged when using qualitative research methods. 

Based on my experiences interviewing 40 students from a socio-economically deprived London school (27.2% pupil premium, national average: 13.6%), during their visit to a high-tariff HEI, I present two characterisations of students. 1) ‘charismatic enthusiasts’ who were engaged with both the outreach session and data collection process and 2) ‘disengaged cynics’ who were detached from the session and were initially disinclined to give extended answers during interviews. 

While it might be tempting to rely on charismatic students for ease of data collection and frame ‘disengaged’ students as problematic for evaluation, the disengaged cynics could often be ‘won over’ with rapport building. 

When compared to other shallow data collection methods (e.g. free text boxes in questionnaires), interviews may require greater sampling effort, yet can yield rich datasets which improves our understanding of widening participation interventions. 

References

  • Dawson, E. (2018). Reimagining publics and (non) participation: Exploring exclusion from science communication through the experiences of low-income, minority ethnic groups. Public Understanding of Science, 27(7), 772–786.  
  • Goudy, W. J., & Potter, H. R. (1975). Interview Rapport: Demise of a Concept. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 39(4), 529–543. 
  • Jenkins, E., & Nelson, N. (2005). Important but not for me: students’ attitudes towards secondary school science in England. Research in Science & Technological Education, 23(1), 41–57. 
  • Pawson, R. (2006). Theorizing the Interview. The British Journal of Sociology, 47(2), 295–314. 

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