Abstract / Description of output
Accounts of emotion and affect have gained popularity in studies of learning. This article draws on qualitative research with a group of non‐traditional students entering an elite university in the UK to illustrate how being and becoming a university student is an intrinsically emotional process. It argues that feelings of loss and dislocation are inherent to the students’ experiences of entering university, and that ‘coming to know’ a new community of practice is an emotional process that can incorporate feelings of alienation and exclusion, as well as of excitement and exhilaration. A broader understanding of how students learn then depends not just upon the individual’s emotional commitment to developing a new learning identity, but on the emotional interaction between the student and the learning environment of the university.