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Fostering Students Social Capital Improving retention in the era of mass education.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering Students Social Capital Improving retention in the era of mass education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering Students Social Capital Improving retention in the era of mass education

2 Lins definition of social capital social capital, which is not the individuals possessed goods, but resources accessible through direct and indirect ties. Access to and use of these resources is temporary and borrowed in the sense that the actor does not possess them. A friends bicycle is ones social capital. One can use it to achieve a certain goal, but it must be returned to the friend.

3 Bonding and Bridging Social Capital Bonding social capital is interaction with people similar to oneself. This is the more usual type. Bonding social capital is interaction with people similar to oneself. This is the more usual type. Bridging social capital is interaction with those different to yourself. This is seen as more valuable as it can potentially aid social mobility. Bridging social capital is interaction with those different to yourself. This is seen as more valuable as it can potentially aid social mobility.

4 Higher education minister Bill Rammell: The most challenging statistic is that if you come from the top two socio-economic groups, you've got an 80% chance of going to university. If you come from the bottom two socio- economic groups, it's only 20%. In the fourth richest economy in the world in the 21st century this is unacceptable.

5 Higher Education and Social Capital Hypothesis 1: Economic, cultural and social capital affect your ability to go to university and to choose which university to go to. Hypothesis 2: Economic capital dictates the opportunity structure to form friendship networks at university (e.g. part-time work, halls etc) and cultural capital can optimise your ability and confidence to do so.

6 Higher Education and Social Capital Hypothesis 3: Social capital at university can provide academic and financial support. Hypothesis 4: Having a university career and a network of graduate friends can enhance your social capital in the long-term, but the value of this social capital is partly dictated by the type of institution you went to i.e. Oxbridge, Rusel Group, Post-1992.

7 Students impeded in developing friendship networks Those living outside halls in their first year Those living outside halls in their first year Distance students, especially those in the parental home Distance students, especially those in the parental home Mature students Mature students Part-time students Part-time students Students with outside commitments Students with outside commitments Those with part-time jobs Those with part-time jobs

8 Brenda and Tracey You know you get more help from Brenda and Tracey in the café and everyone calls them their Uni Mums because people do want someone, especially people that do come here straight away from A levels as well, you need someone with all these questions. Not just academic ones but all personal support and everything. You dont want to go and see a stranger, you need to be able to build a relationship. Female, 26, White British, Third Year

9 Halls students My halls werent actual halls they were flats. There was about six people so actually you only spoke to six people, who turned out to be complete bitches. The halls in Digby and Southlands are like halls halls, and then theres like Froebel and Mount Clare that arent like halls. Theyre like flats, unless you get on with the people, youre buggered. Female, 21, White British, Third year Female, 21, White British, Third year

10 An off-campus student that withdrew Well I feel one of the main reasons I left was because I felt excluded from my class, I found it hard to mix with others as most people lived on campus we had nothing to talk about, I felt out of place which made me feel horrible and alone so I didnt create study groups. Which meant all work was done on my own. Female, 18, White British, First year

11 A Non-traditional student settling in Im a person that waits until Im comfortable, but some seminar groups they over take the whole discussion and then their twenty four hour [drinking] binge and I have nothing to say except I bake cakes for my kids. Female, 26, Black Caribbean, First year

12 Off-campus students I exchanged telephone numbers with people expecting them to call me or me to call them and you just dont, you just do the work yourself, hand it in and, go home, and thats probably what I miss being a mature student and living off campus, is that sort of network you have, you say hello to people in class then its bye-bye see you next week, and its quite isolating if you do that. Female 39, White British, Second year (part-time)

13 Discussion What else can be done to help students develop networks? Do you feel it is the institutions responsibility? If you have any enquiries please me:


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