Do Students Really Engage With Their Skills Development In The Context Of Widening Participation? An Institutional Case Study

Alpsahin Cullen, Ufi ORCID logoORCID: (2020) Do Students Really Engage With Their Skills Development In The Context Of Widening Participation? An Institutional Case Study. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 22 (3). ISSN 1466-6529 (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the engagement of the groups that under-represented in higher education (HE, hereafter) with their employability skills development throughout their study within a unique micro institutional context of the case institution. It also investigates the changes in professional career plans of under-represented groups in parallel with the perceived improvement in their employability skills. Finally, this study looks into the factors perceived by the students as impediments towards academic attainment and how far these can be associated with the particular challenges faced by under-represented groups and of their own perceived weaknesses. The micro context of this study is a private HE institution in London where the vast majority of students and staff are from BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds which provides a unique context for exploring these issues. A mixed methods approach was adopted through bringing together both quantitative and qualitative evidence collected throughout the two-year-long period of their undergraduate programme from the beginning of the sample group’s study until the very end of it. The sample size was 150 students across different undergraduate programmes. Based on the research findings, perceived levels of employability skills were closely associated with all the independent variables (also the particular characteristics of the students) including age, and employment status whilst studying. It was also observed that there was a decrease in under-represented students’ self-confidence level as a result of their increased self-awareness and increased abilities to assess the graduate level skills possessed. This change had an impact on students’ career plans which changed from looking for a relevant job to looking for any job available towards the end of their study.

Item Type: Article
ISSN: 1466-6529
Subjects: Education
Courses by Department: Business School > Business Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Ufi Alpsahin Cullen
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2020 09:41
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2020 09:41


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