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Title: Student perspectives on the idea of a university : a study of the student experience in higher education and on the purpose of the university in contemporary UK society
Author: Mann, S. George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 3975
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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Through a qualitative interview approach, this study attempts to shed light on the expectations and experiences of students at a new post-1992 university. The approach of the study is one of allowing student voices and ideas to be heard and to be mediated by a critical narrative from the researcher. The data analysis suggests that students acquire, as a direct result of their lived experience, an articulate and critical understanding of the purpose and place of the university in contemporary UK society and of their own place within the university system. While the university experience did indeed deliver the anticipated rich social life, some felt quite unambiguously that they had had no really structured opportunity to engage intellectually or to discuss the big ideas of life. Almost all the group felt that the university experience had indeed allowed them to know more about themselves or had, at least, allowed personal characteristics or preferences to be confirmed. Few felt that they had been delivered skills relevant to the workplace and although most could readily understand that a degree could give them access to better life chances, only a minority felt that enhanced future salaries. were a main driver in their attending university. Few students saw attendance at university as a privilege. Most could see that they had indeed sacrificed in terms of short-term earning capacity and felt themselves to be under some sort of duty to put something back into society. Many expressed a wish to use their skills and knowledge to help other communities in other parts of the world. While some saw the university as a place to achieve personal growth and change, others spoke of the university as a huge national and international communications network which crucially gave mass access to knowledge in the broadest sense.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available