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Narratives of care amongst undergraduate students

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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Pastoral Care in Education on 1st September 2017, available online: 10.1080/02643944.2017.1363813

    Accepted author manuscript, 424 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166–178
Number of pages12
JournalPastoral Care in Education
Volume35
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2017

Abstract

This paper addresses a central paradox that affects the nature of the student experience in the UK. On the one hand, the marketisation of higher education, with its associated emphasis on performativity indicators, may be seen to have reduced students to numbers, with the attendant consequence that the affective domain of studying and learning has been lost. On the other hand, there is more attention given to student feelings than was ever the case in the past and questions about student satisfaction have become more prominent. This paper will explore this paradox using empirical data gathered from a longitudinal study of ‘non-traditional’ students at one ancient university in Scotland. We indicate the ways in which the tension between the technicist spaces of the neo-liberal university and its empathetic, caring spaces are mediated by students as they make their way through their degrees. We argue that caring relationships with staff are of central importance to students’ well-being and success at university, and that students actively seek to construct support when and where they need it.

    Research areas

  • caring , neo-liberal context , higher education , non-traditional qualifications

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