22 SES 16 A, International Perspectives on Student Retention in Higher Education Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 22 SES 17 A
In relation to the ideal visions of successful student trajectories found in current educational policy and debates, it can be questioned whether the opportunities to access higher education, to be mobile, efficient and successful are the same for all students. The student has to move in and out of financial systems (labour market, student finance) as well as managing time, hitting deadlines, keeping up, and making the timing of important events work throughout their educational career. Lately, there has been an increased political focus on student enrolment, efficiency and completion in higher education which in turn, increases the pressure for HEIs to be more efficient and ensure student success. However, this case study focuses on the situations in which students (for a range of different reasons) do not follow the same study pace as “normal performing” students do. In the administrative HE discourse, the situation is framed in terms of ‘at-risk students’ in danger of dropping out. Students who do not register for the next semester of study are measured as ‘dropped out’ in the administrative follow up statistics. But, what kind of existence do dropouts experience and what are the reasons for not continuing their studies? The current study contrasts the results from an analysis based on administrative HE discourse and other policy discourses, with a critical sociological analysis of the lived experienced from 31 ‘at risk’ dropout students from the Swedish teacher programme at a Swedish university, (21 female students and 10 male students). The interviews of the group of students were both analysed in line with the administrative HE discourse and different policy discourses. The analysis generated a typology of ‘stragglers’ based on two dimensions; commitment to and ability to pursue the studies on the outskirts of the normal study pace. The typology and its’ dimensions were then contrasted and analysed through the student biographies in which the educational choices, crossroads, success and failures in their studies, encounters with the style of education (Alheit, 2009, Alheit & Dausien 2002) were reflected on and were narrated into the their daily life and future horizons of their careers, teacher careers or other career paths. In the analysis a central theme has been how the students have been able to mobilise resources, i.e. from inherited educational capital. Two thirds of the students had low levels of inherited educational capital (Bourdieu, 1984) while one third had high levels of inherited educational capital.
Alheit, P. The symbolic power of knowledge: exclusion mechanisms of the 'University Habitus' in the German HE System. In Merrill, B. (red.) (2009). Learning to change? the role of identity and learning careers in adult education. Frankfurt: Lang. Alheit, P. & Dausien, B. (2002) ‘The double face of lifelong learning: Two analytical perspectives on a ‘silent revolution’.’ Studies in the Education of Adults, 34 (1), 3-22. Bathmaker, A-M., et al (2013). Higher education, social class and the mobilization of capitals: recognizing and playing the game. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34(56), 723–743. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction. A social critique of the judgment of taste. London: Routledge.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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