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  2. C,CE&ES Group 8: Tuesday 16th March, 11:20 - 11:50

C,CE&ES Group 8: Tuesday 16th March, 11:20 - 11:50

2.18 “There's so many ways in which you can slip through the cracks” – an exploration of the diversity of the estranged students’ experience  

Sidonie Ecochard, PhD Candidate, University of Strathclyde  

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The seminar presents emerging findings from an on-going doctoral project on estranged students in Higher Education. In a context of growing recognition of estranged students’ specific challenges in attending university (Office for Students, 2020), their support needs remain under-researched and little understood (Costa et al., 2020). The qualitative research intends to address this gap, through an in-depth exploration of the experiences of estranged students (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) at three universities in Scotland (Russell Group; Pre-92 and Post-92). The study focuses on the ways estrangement intersects with institutional settings and other Widening Participation categories (such as social class, ethnicity, disability etc) (Jackson & Nystromb, 2014). The seminar will highlight how the conditions of the engagement with Higher Education come to bear on the estranged students’ experiences, emphasizing the diversity of experiences out there, with the goal of better supporting students’ progression and successful transition out of Higher Education.  


  • Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry : experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers.  
  • Costa, C., Taylor, Y., Goodfellow, C., & Ecochard, S. (2020). Student estrangement in higher education: identity formation and the struggle against stigma. British Journal of Sociology of Education41(5), 685-700. DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2020.1770575  
  • Jackson, C., & Nyströmb, A. S. (2014). ‘Smart students get perfect scores in tests without studying much’: Why is an effortless achiever identity attractive, and for whom is it possible? Research Papers in Education30(4), 393–410.  
  • Office for Students (2020). Students without family support - Office for Students.  

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