The Influence of Student Identities on Progression to, through and beyond Higher Education

Hamilton, Claire
(2021) The Influence of Student Identities on Progression to, through and beyond Higher Education. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Increasing opportunities for higher education in the Middle East has meant that many women who would not traditionally have attended post-secondary education are now encouraged to access higher education. This change has come with many potential problems as the traditional role of women in a conservative society is redefined. It is a change which is embraced by some and challenged by others and it presents potential problems for higher education institutions. This thesis is a case-based life history study examining the experiences of young female students from different economic and socio-cultural backgrounds in one higher education institution in a Middle Eastern country. The aims of the study are to research and document the factors that shape the identities of female students, to develop a clearer understanding of how those identifies influence their experience of higher education and to suggest evidence-based ways of enhancing those experiences. A sample of ten students took part in a series of detailed interviews, recounting their past and present learning experiences and their future aspirations. Their life stories were used to build their life histories and to describe their evolving student identities, including the dominant factors informing their experiences and opportunities. Bourdieu’s concept of capital was used to analyse the data and to examine the three main factors that emerged in the development of their identities: how the students define their roles and identities within their family; how (and who) they recognize as individuals of influence; and how they identify individual and collective moments of realization. The findings are discussed in the context of the past, present and future to determine how their student identities are shaped and how the students are able to shape them. This generates a better understanding of their experiences and opportunities as they progress to, through and beyond higher education. The results of the research will be used to inform policy and practice at this specific institution and so potentially contribute to the enhancement of the higher education experiences of women in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2021 09:39
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:58
DOI: 10.17638/03116088
  • Watts, Michael
  • Qualter, Anne