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Title: Young people in transition in local contexts : an exploration of how place and time frame young people's educational aspirations, decisions and anticipated transitions
Author: Evans, Ceryn
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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It has been well documented that young people’s social class, gender and ethnicity have significant bearing upon their participation in post-16 and higher education. Less research has considered how decisions regarding participation in post-16 education and HE are framed by the places and timeframe in which young people live. This comparative and qualitative study of young people aged 16-18 in the Rhondda Valleys and Newport considers how place and the contemporary economic context bears upon their aspirations and educational choices. The research shows that the contemporary economic climate and popular commentaries of ‘recession’ ‘cuts’ and ‘crisis’ persuade young people to remain in post-16 education and HE as a means of avoiding entry into this risky landscape and investing in human capital. The study revealed that place did appear to bear upon their decisions – albeit in subtle ways. Firstly, local opportunity structures informed the type of transitions young people made from compulsory to post-compulsory education. Drawing on Gambetta’s typology, where opportunities are limited but available, young people jumped into post-16 education but where opportunities are severely restricted, they were pushed into post-16 education. Local opportunity structures also informed young people’s plans to leave or stay within their locality, compelling them to leave places where opportunities are scarce. Place also matters to young people’s university choices and future aspirations through their emotional attachments to immediate and national localities. The research offers new insights into the importance of place in informing the processes by which educational decisions are made. It raises important questions regarding the extent to which differences in young people’s decision making processes have implications for their future experiences of education and life chances. It also has political implications regarding the geographical location of higher education opportunities and the role of universities in outward migration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)