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Title: A student centred approach to the roots of psychological wellbeing and academic self-concept : the impact of the 'luggage' or 'baggage' of past experience
Author: Michie, Frances
ISNI:       0000 0001 3397 4897
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1998
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Establishments of Higher Education (HE) are generally recruiting a more diverse student population and this research has specifically examined differences in the undergraduate student experience of direct and re-entry students in the 1990s. The first phase of the research involved the development of a scale to measure individuals' past experiences of secondary school. This formed part of a questionnaire which investigated the impact of age, gender, past experiences of education and motivations for entering HE on current global self-esteem, academic self-concept, academic stress and trust in marking criteria in HE. Direct entry female students reported the highest levels of academic stress. Re-entry students reported the most negative experiences of School overall and there was also evidence to suggest that females experienced more negative academic self-concept overall than males. If the reason to participate in HE was for career goals, academic stress levels were the highest. When the reason to participate was for cognitive interest, academic self-concept was positive and these individuals reported the most satisfaction with college overall. The next phase of the research moved to a qualitative study in which students were asked to relate their education 'stories' from school to current experiences. The outcome of this study supported some of the findings from the previous quantitative study and additionally gave insight into the complex pattern of past and current experiences which influence the experience of HE. This data was further analyzed using correspondence analysis which identified specific patterns of association between these diverse set of variables and the age and gender of current students. Re-entry females reported more overall negative experiences at school and appeared to have relatively more negative academic experiences at college. Although they reported positive academic self-concept at school, this was more negative at college compared to the other students. It appeared the re-entry males were more likely to participate in HE for self-development and had positive academic self-concept at college. Direct entry females experienced the highest levels of academic stress and were most likely to experience self-doubt. Direct entry males reported the most negative academic experiences at school and had the highest levels of global self-esteem. Due to the lack of research addressing the experience of re-entry male students and their under representation in cross sectional studies, a case study was integrated into the research where a re-entry male student kept a diary twice a week for over a year. This revealed the benefits of more longitudinal designs and the transitory and changeable nature of an individual's experiences of HE. The findings and limitations of the research were discussed together with the implications for academic practice and suggestions for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Higher education; Student experience