Research Items (8)
In this study, our cross-case analysis of students? lives challenges the conventional home?university model of transition and highlights the importance of acknowledging the influence of this complex symbiotic relationship for students who attend university and live at home. We argue that as with stay-at-home holidays, or ?staycations?, which are of such crucial importance to the tourism industry, so stay-at-home students or commuter students are vital to higher education and the term utilised here is ?stayeducation?. Through the narratives of ?stayeducation? students, we see how family and community aspects of students? lives are far more significant than previously realised, and our study suggests that these heavily influence the development of a student sense of belonging. Drawing upon biographical narrative method, this paper introduces three first-year Business and Economics students enrolled at different universities in London and explores their journeys through their transition through home, school and early university life. Ways in which key themes play out in the transition stories of our students and the challenges and obstacles for the individual are drawn out through the cross-case analysis. Findings support the existing literature around gender, class and identity; however, new insights into the importance, for these students, of family, friendships and community are presented. Our work has implications for academic staff, those writing institutional policies, and argues for the creation of different spaces within which students can integrate into their new environment.
In many countries the outputs from university student satisfaction surveys are used for a variety of educational management purposes. Within the United Kingdom, the main instrument employed by state authorities to measure student satisfaction is the National Student Survey (NSS). The issue investigated by the current research related to whether students with different personal characteristics might ascribe disparate meanings to the wordings of particular items designed to measure certain dimensions of the NSS (for example, what is meant by ‘prompt’ feedback or by ‘fair’ marking). A sample of 319 business studies students in a UK university completed questionnaires concerning their learning orientations, levels of engagement with their courses, study skills and family backgrounds and their interpretations of the meanings of key dimensions of the NSS. A conjoint analysis methodology was applied to identify variations in interpretations. The results suggest that students with different kinds of learning orientation and different levels of engagement may hold disparate views on the meanings of key NSS dimensions. This brings into question the utility of employing overall average values of students’ assessments of these matters for educational management and decision-making purposes. Within the present sample, disparities between the all-sample outcomes and the results for individuals who exhibited low levels of engagement with their programmes were especially pronounced.
This article reports on students' sense of belonging in higher education in the first semester of the first year. The main aim of this study is to measure students' sense of belonging in the context of the university environment across three London universities. Goodenow's (1993) Psychological Sense of School Membership instrument was utilised to collect quantitative data. Analysis of the data suggests that most students do seem to develop a sense of belonging by week 7 of semester one, but a significant minority (10–15%) of students in each institution do not. This report concludes that these students are more likely to have some issues settling in and feeling that they are accepted in the university environment. Unfortunately, experiencing a lack of social integration is a factor that encourages students to leave education. These students may require support if they are to gain a strong sense of belonging to their institution. It is also apparent that active participation in curricular activity is strongly correlated with a higher sense of belonging.
- May 2014
This paper presents the outcomes of a study of the factors that contribute to teaching team effectiveness in situations where team members rarely meet face to face. Academic faculty within a university Business School were asked to report the degrees to which they believed that the module teaching teams to which they belonged contained members who (1) were satisfied and committed, and (2) regarded their teams as cohesive and as engaging in reliable and useful internal communications. All the teams covered by the study operated in ‘detached’ manners. Team members’ perceptions of the presence within their teams of trust, shared understanding, disparate educational orientations among participants and certain leadership styles were also examined. A model of the determinants of detached team effectiveness was constructed and tested. The respondents’ opinions vis-à-vis levels of satisfaction, commitment, cohesion and the value of internal team communications were then compared with metrics concerning student satisfaction and rates of progression on specific modules. Trust, shared understanding, differences in educational orientation among team members, conflict and the frequency of (though not the length of time spent on) communications emerged as major influences on perceptions of team effectiveness. Teams that were regarded as operating effectively appeared to be associated with higher student satisfaction and progression ratings.
This article provides interim observations with reference to a three university study into the implications of students’ sense of belonging in UK tertiary education. Descriptions related to sense of belonging were recorded via the biographic narrative interpretive method (BNIM) (Wengraf, 2007) and will be subject to further analysis via this method in later stages of the project. Initial findings include emergent themes and practice-based opportunities to increase students’ sense of belonging.
A questionnaire was sent to the heads of internationalization in the business schools of all U.K. universities. Sixty-five replies were received. The document covered, inter alia, the internationalization activities undertaken by the respondents’ schools, the intensities with which internationalization had been implemented, motives for internationalizing, approaches adopted (gradualistic vs. simultaneous), possible links with graduate employability, and the role of innate predilections toward internationalization held by senior business school managers. A schematic model intended to explain the speed, extent, and intensity of a business school’s internationalization was developed and tested. It transpired that levels of internationalization activity within the sample institutions were substantial. The degree and/or speed of internationalization within a business school appeared to depend significantly on the financial situation of the host university, managerial inclinations favoring internationalization, financial dependence on foreign students, the desire to attract greater numbers of students from overseas, the size of the business school and the age of its host university, and the belief among senior managers that an internationalized curriculum improved the employment and career prospects of British born as well as foreign students.
- Feb 2010
Although many post-1992 English universities take large numbers of students from low socio-economic status categories, the first year retention rates of these institutions vary enormously. This study examined and compared the educational management practices and approaches to first year retention of a group of universities that exhibited the country's highest rates of first year retention among business students with a group of universities with the country's lowest rates of first year business student retention. Differences between the two sets of institutions were observed in their organisational arrangements; the application of performance management techniques and performance related pay; the degree of centralisation of student support services; internal communications; and, whether a university's culture encouraged faculty members to believe, as a matter of course, that they should provide students with a high quality educational experience.
- Dec 2009
A survey of managers in charge of employer engagement activities in UK business schools and departments was completed to ascertain: (1) the employer engagement methods that were most commonly used by institutions; (2) business school managers' attitudes towards employers' involvement in course design; and (3) the respondents' perceptions of the benefits and problems connected with employer engagement programmes. Possible antecedents of the extent of a business school or department's engagement with employers were examined together with the link between the extent of engagement and the actual level of employment of a university's business graduates. Hypothesised determinants of the extent of employer engagement included top management's predilections towards employability matters, a business school's ‘organisational distance’ from the corporate world, financial circumstances, and the size and age of the institution. A model to explain the extent of a business school or department's employer engagement was constructed and tested. It emerged that managerial predilections and a university's financial situation exerted especially powerful effects on the extent of engagement.