Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Uncovering uncertainties linked to widening participation

'Feeling like I belong': Uncovering uncertainties linked to widening participation and sense of student alienation in the University.

School: History, Classics and Archaeology

Team Members: Lucy Grig, Esther Mijers, Sandra Bingham, Anne Brockington, Craig Phillips

Abstract

This project will investigate the perceptions of WP and underrepresented students of the School of History Classics and Archaeology and examine anecdotal evidence, which suggests that they may not feel ‘at home’ in HCA.

HCA has a highly diverse cohort of students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Within this, it also has a substantial body of students from underrepresented and WP backgrounds. Feedback from the HCA Student Support Office and Personal Tutor system, along with NSS findings, suggests that such students have noted feelings that they do not belong; a problem that seems to arise when students arrive and gets progressively worse. For a School that has a demonstrable commitment to developing the student experience and sense of student community, this is extremely worrying.  We would like to find out more about this, gather robust evidence and, if it is revealed that there is a problem, seek to address it as a matter of priority. 

Focussing on WP students is expecially timely as the School senior management team met with WP management earlier this year to develop a School focussed approach to implementing the institution-wide WP Strategy.  This is currently being developed and designed with a view of putting into practice in the academic year 2019/20.  The PTAS project would be an important part of this work in ensuring we support and develop our WP students to achieve their full potential.

The project specifically intends on engaging with the WP Strategy strands : Support to succeed; and Support to progress.