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Student support as social network: Exploring non-traditional student experiences of academic and wellbeing support during the Covid-19 pandemic

Raaper, R. and Brown, C. and Llewellyn, A. (2022) 'Student support as social network: Exploring non-traditional student experiences of academic and wellbeing support during the Covid-19 pandemic.', Educational Review, 74 (3). pp. 402-421.

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis in higher education, affecting all aspects of university work and practices. This article focuses on student experiences in particular by problematising academic and wellbeing support available to non-traditional students. The article proposes an original approach to student support as comprising social networks that are dynamic, reciprocal and involving a variety of formal/informal actors. We draw on interviews with 10 non-traditional students from a UK university to explore the nature of their student support. Our findings suggest that support networks for non-traditional students tend to exclude formal support services, and centre primarily around family (wellbeing support) and fellow students (academic/wellbeing support). While the findings problematise the lack of institutional support in student networks which is likely to further disadvantage these students, it questions the dominant deficit views of non-traditional students. In particular, the interviews highlight the resourcefulness of close interactions and emphasise the importance of approaching student support as a dynamic network of informal and formal actors when responding to the crisis situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2021.1965960
Publisher statement:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way
Date accepted:05 August 2021
Date deposited:06 August 2021
Date of first online publication:15 September 2021
Date first made open access:15 September 2021

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