Conference Agenda

Session Overview
RN10_09a_IC: Higher Education: Students
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Antigoni Alba Papakonstantinou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Location: Intercontinental - Athenaeum CC I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level


The effect of social origin on enrollment in university in Romania

Agnes David-Kacso, Maria Roth

BBU Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Romania

The secondary effects of social origin on educational attainment are related to the educational decisions of the families (e.g. Breen and Goldthorpe, 1997). Educational attainment being seen as a “decision tree”, Mare’s (1981) model of educational stratification shows that at each educational transition point social origin influences the education related choices of social agents, although educational expansion can compensate the selectivity of the system.

In Romania the high education has undergone a spectacular expansion after the fall of the communist system, the number of student enrolled in universities increasing more than three times since 1990 (Hatos, 2006). In this context the aim of this study is to analyze the effect of social origin on the educational process of Romanian youth. The study follows the influence of SES on the student’s educational aspirations in the final school year, on the enrollment in university and on the chosen specialization. The results of logistical regressions show that parent’s educational level and the family’s economic status predict the high school student’s educational aspirations, and the predictive effect of social origin is stronger on the enrollment in university. Parent’s education and the financial situation of the family didn't influence the chosen specialization.

The data were collected in the frame of the project "Outcomes of Adolescence. A longitudinal perspective", being realized two waves of survey (the first in 2012, the second in 2014), from a nationally representative sample of 3508 youth in the first wave obtaining a data base of 1509 respondents in the second wave.

Keywords: higher education, educational aspirations, social origin, parent’s education, financial poverty.

“It’s a life path, it’s not just a product you buy; it’s not like buying a chocolate bar”: exploring student, media and policy constructions of higher education students in England

Anu Lainio, Jessie Abrahams

University of Surrey, United Kingdom

There are currently over 35 million students within Europe and yet, to date, we have no clear understanding of the extent to which conceptions of ‘the student’ are shared by different social actors and across different countries. What does it mean to be a higher education (HE) student today? To what extent is there congruence about this amongst students, policy makers, the media and higher education institutions (HEIs)? This paper draws upon data collected as part of the five year European Research Council-funded ‘Eurostudents’ project (2016 – 2021) which seeks to address this gap in knowledge through exploring the conceptions of the HE student within and across six different nations (Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Spain). This presentation focusses on early data collected in three strands of the project in one case study country (England). We present findings from our analysis of nine focus groups with students in different HEIs across England, media analysis of two English newspapers and analysis of 16 English policy documents. Through combining these three strands, this paper considers both the similarities and differences in English students’ perceptions of themselves and the ways in which media and policy documents represent them. We discuss the extent to which students are represented and/or see themselves as consumers, political actors, learners and the next generation of workers. We also reflect on students’ perceptions of the way in which they are portrayed in media and policy documents.

Social inequalities as mirrored by extracurricular activities in higher education: The role of student employment and international mobility in academic success

Edit Veres, Agoston Horvath, Adam Hamori

Educational Authority, Hungary

Extracurricular activities have now known to play a key role in higher education progress as well as facilitating school-to-work transition. Underlying causal mechanisms and also the exact nature of these factors are, however, debated. Improvement of future career prospects by employment related to the studies is already widely evidenced, yet whether student term-time employment in general promotes or hinders academic achievement and fosters plans for further higher education studies is somewhat unclear. At the same time, social inequalities in access to international mobility programs and socially unequal motivations of student employment, either for covering living expenses or gaining professional experience, are proven in many contexts.

Our paper scrutinizes types and social background factors of employment during the time of higher education study, the access of these diverse student groups to international mobility activities as well as their effects on future study plans. These features are presented as factors which contribute to the perpetuation of existing inequalities in higher education.

Our research is based on the secondary analysis of the Hungarian database of EUROSTUDENT VI including appr. 7200 respondents. We apply descriptive and multivariate statistical methods to showcase the social characteristics of different groups of employed as well as internationally mobile students in Hungarian higher education. We analyze the causative direction and significance of institutional, social, economic and study career background of employment, international mobility plans and experiences as well as further higher education study plans resulting from these characteristics.