22 SES 12 B, Comparative View of Extra-Curricular Activities: Transitions to and from Higher Education
This workshop brings together researchers from a number of different national settings to examine the role of extra-curricular activities in higher education. The symposia builds on a number of different research projects conducted separately from each other in Hungary, Romania and the UK tapping into some examples from the USA as well.
At British universities students can choose from a wide range of extra-curricular activities ranging from participation in sports, music societies and groups mainly aimed at organising social activities. These are predominantly not related to the course on which students are enrolled. A smaller proportion of student groups are organised around activities that relate to the studied subject providing some level of experience in the area.
In Hungary and Romania both of the main extra-curricular activities beyond student representation are connected to the subject matter studied, either aiming to provide a platform to the talented students to show their research skills in a competition, or supplement the university education with additional courses in a college of advanced study.
The starting point of this workshop is the student's viewpoint with respect to extra-curricular activities and comparing the main motivating factors across the countries compared. Through analysing different datasets that provide information about why students join student societies, university-organised sports groups, participate in national academic student groups or in colleges of advanced study, this workshop gives an overview of the students’ narratives on participation.
This workshop compares and contrasts the accounts of why students take part within and between countries to understand the role of these extra-curricular groups in their academic and social integration to the university life and the expectations from participating longer term. This workshop also analyses the make-up of the student groups compared to the general university population.
This workshop builds on three different research projects bringing together results on extra-curricular activities. As for Britain, a longitudinal research project using 40 interviews and the background information from the student record at a university provides an overview on student experiences. A further 15 narrative interviews conducted at another UK University are then compared with the 27 accounts of a Romanian institution. The Hungarian case study draws on questionnaire data from student members of the said colleges.
This workshop provides an overview of the institutional level narratives on whether and if yes, why universities see extra-curricular activities important and whether they are integrated into the institution's life. Through this the expected and the potential outcomes of extra-curricular activities can be analysed from multiple viewpoints, thus providing a rounded picture of the existing national similarities and differences as well.
Brooks, R. and Everett, G. 2008. New European Learners? An analysis of the ‘trendsetter’ thesis. Journal of Youth Studies, 11 (4), pp. 377–391. Callender, C. (2012). The 2012/13 reforms of higher education in England: changing student finances and funding. In M. Kilkey, G. Ramia & K. Farnsworth (Eds.), Social Policy Review 24: Analysis and debate in social policy 2012. Bristol: Policy Press. Cegledi, T. & Fonai M. (2012) Who Enters? Former Achievement and Social Background of Students in Colleges for Advanced Studies. IN Gyorgyi, Z. & Nagy, Z. (eds): Students in a Cross-Border Region. Higher Education for Regional Social Cohesion. Oradea: University of Oradea Press
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