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Title: Rethinking 'the rules of the game' : first year undergraduate transitional experiences viewed through a Bourdieusian lens
Author: Le Play, Deborah Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 0397
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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Whilst research into the nature of the university student experience and transition to higher education is not new, since the 1990s academics, institutions and government have become increasingly preoccupied with enhancing the quality of the student experience in the context of widening participation, retention, student expectation and student satisfaction agendas. Recent government policy and sector initiatives also propose to put students and their experience 'at the heart of the system' and highlight the significance of the first year transitional experience in terms not only of establishing strong foundations for individual students' future academic success, but also with respect to institutions' perceived ability to meet and respond to student needs and expectations in an increasingly competitive higher education market-place. The current thesis presents findings of a small-scale empirical study undertaken in this context in a post-1992 higher education institution in the Midlands to capture student and academic perspectives of first year undergraduate transitional experiences. Drawing on the notion of 'interpretative repertoire' to organize empirical data gathered through individual participant interviews and a Student Experience Cafe, analysis leads to the proposition of a deficit model which highlights convergence and divergence in how transition is perceived and articulated by the different student and academic participant groups. This model is then further considered and explained through a Bourdieusian lens using, in particular, the key concepts of habitus, capital and field. A conceptualization of student transitional experiences is offered as part of a wider debate on the purpose of higher education and its capacity to empower (or disempower) the 'new' student, and argues tentatively for a re-thinking, if not a reconfiguration, of the academic field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available