04 SES 04 A, Reflecting On Access And Equity In Higher Education
The general research question for the present study is What role do social factors play in access an equity (A&E) in the Indonesian university context for low SES students (e.g. students that receive a so-called bidikmisi aid).
The following more specific sub questions will be answered: (i) What do students, lecturers and support staff perceive as the most prominent or relevant social factors for A&E to higher education?, (ii) What differences and similarities (in frequency of occurrence and given meaning) in the experiences with these factors can be found between students, lecturers and support staff? Based on the findings, we hope to extract implications for bidikmisi recipients and university policy regarding this topic.
Financial aid has been found to promote access, but the connection to student success once students are in college is less conclusive, suggesting that there may be much more at play when it comes to student success beyond just financial need (Zerquera & Smith, 2015). Previoust study about determining factors on access and equity in higher education shows that many of the factors seem to be related to the role of social support (by peers, by family, by teachers, by university officers, and via programmes). Social support emerged as crucial for both access and equity. Most of the previous research, especially many of the large-scale quantitative studies on access and equity, did not emphasize this factor in their findings. This review found the social support factor to be present at three different levels: the pre-university education level; the university level; and the student level. At each level, peers, teachers (including tutors and counsellors), and family support (including external family members) played a significant role to give students motivation, encouragement, guidance, and also financial support.
This research investigates the role of social factors by mapping A&E more comprehensively from the perspective of students, teachers and support staff by conducting semi-structured interviews. Participants The number of involved respondents was: 26 bachelor students (bidikmisi recipients), 16 lecturers (including 2 counsellors) and 11 support staff. Staff were those who worked in offices related to admission and student support and were selected based on advice from the vice-rector of academic affairs, such as the admissions office, academic office, scholarship management staff, deans and vice deans. Instrument Data were collected via semi-structured interviews. The interview scheme designed was based on our prior review study. Based on this review study, respondents were asked about the presence of a mentoring program, family support, teacher support/contact, counsellor support and peer support. Data analysis In order to understand which social factors (and their meaning or functions) affected access and equity, data analysis consisted of several steps. First, transcripts from each respondent were skimmed to get a first impression for coding. Second, a coding scheme was created based on the interview topics/literature review in combination with grounded topics based on transcript skimming. Third, each transcript was coded and codes (frequencies/percentage of occurrence) were combined into one matrix (table). Results were distinguished based on factors affecting access and equity (table 1) and on the type of respondent. We established validity and reliability by having a second reviewer to check the table and transcript coding.
In general, family is the most frequent mentioned support factor influencing access to higher education. Lecturer support is the most frequently mentioned factor for equity. As for access, both students and lecturers mentioned family most often, while support staff mentions family, counsellor and teacher (in high school) as the most frequent support factor. All of the respondents mention peers relatively less often. When looking at the meaning or function of the factors, respondents indicate that the role of family is to provide financial support, motivation and guidance. The guiding role of family is also regarded important, especially for those who for example have siblings or other family members who have successfully conducted their studies at university. This guidance support includes information on scholarships, the choices of study programs & universities and tips for answering university exam. There are three types of mentoring programs that affect access to higher education: mentoring that organized by the private sector (paid), organized by high school (paid and unpaid) and also from voluntary organizations (free). The services provided in the mentoring program are quite varied, from guidance to choose the department and university, practice to answer the university test, and also book or other learning material. For equity, the table shows that lecturer is the most frequent answer for all types of respondents. Although students answered that the role of family was quite high for access to higher education, they mentioned that family and counsellors were less important for equity. Lecturers play several roles in supporting equity in higher education such as via their teaching style, providing learning material, acting as a role model or even surrogate parent/parental model.
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