Past Event details

Webinar: Factors impinging on learning decisions

Tuesday, 05 November 2019

The link for this session is:

This Webinar is part of Share your Research: A programme of Online Webinars. This series is intended to facilitate the sharing of cutting edge and innovative research, globally. These webinars enable lively debate and constructive feedback from interested peers. These sessions are open and free for all to attend.  
 Chair: Charlotte Verney, Canterbury Christ Church University

1.       The Student Capital and Success scale: a tool for universities to mitigate “rich-parent effects” Elizabete Cardoso, University of Bath

This study used an abductive research approach to explore how Bourdieu’s theory of capital relates to individuals’ success. The main results are: the confirmation and quantification of a “rich-parents effect”, whereby financial comfort trumps every other form of capital in impacting success; and the development of a Student Capital and Success scale that enables higher education institutions to diagnose students’ capital gaps, and customise career development plans accordingly.

Impact of social class on accessing and completing higher education has been researched for over 60 decades, with powerful scientific advances connecting Bourdieu’s forms of capital with various outcomes, including access to better institutions and academic achievement – but not success specifically. Literature about success in this field is often connected to career success, but millennials want more than career out of a life they’re increasingly less sure about. It therefore became pertinent to understand what recent graduates construed as success, and how it could be mapped back to their capitals. The ensuing research questions were: is there a “rich-parents effect”, i.e., do wealthy business school graduates have better chances of being successful?, and how can universities boost graduates’ success by assessing capital gaps?. The mixed methods approach used 17 semi-structured interviews and an online survey of 205 recent graduates of UK universities. Content analysis of the interviews and multivariate statistical analysis, produced as main findings: people have different combinations of capitals that they mobilise (deliberately or not) to produce more capitals (example: using social connections to get a job that pays better and enhances social connections further); individuals raised with financial comfort exhibit higher levels of success, in what can be deemed a “rich-parents effect”; students can be diagnosed on their capitals using the Student Capital and Success scale developed with structural equation modelling.


2.       The Potential of Transformative Learning in Study Abroad Programmes: Factors and Conditions that Promote or Constrain Transformative Learning. Asma Alblooshi, Queen’s University Belfast

This presentation is focussed on an ongoing research project in its early stages. Asma Alblooshi is a PGR student at Queen’s University Belfast.

Research aims: Develop a deeper understanding of the conditions and factors which possibly influence students’ experiences on an intellectual, social, professional and emotional level to assist higher education institutions in preparing and designing programmes that are more likely to achieve the desired social outcomes.

Research background: Outward mobility is becoming a main concern for higher education institutions in the UK, which is evident in the launching of a national campaign in 2017 to stimulate outward mobility for study, work placement and volunteering experiences. Despite advertising these experiences as ‘life altering’ and to build more inclusive and diverse societies, it has been noted that this move is directed more towards economic and professional advancement for both individuals and the UK in general (UUKI, 2013).

The focus of this study is that study abroad programmes are becoming a priority in the strategic plans of many higher education institutions across the globe, often with the intention of developing global citizens (Brooks, 2018a). However, there has always been a degree of tension between the rhetoric and reality of these programmes and their economic, social and political implications on students and societies. Although significant research encourages the promotion of study abroad programmes because of the positive influence they have on “students’ psychosocial development, in particular their self-confidence, sense of identity, and personal independence” (Rowan-Kenyon and Niehaus, 2011, p.214), these outcomes are not consistent, which indicates a disconnect in either the individuals, the programmes, or both.

Proposed Methods: This qualitative study aims to address the gap in knowledge through providing a more holistic understanding of the impact of such experiences in two higher education institutions in the UK.

Data collection instruments include demographic forms, photo presentation/photo elicitation which will be held after completing the study abroad experience, and semi-structured interviews, which will be implemented prior to students’ departure and upon their return. Additionally, structured interviews will be used to gather more information about these programmes from the international exchange programme administration in the two universities.


Network: Newer Researchers
Date(s): Tuesday, 05 November 2019
Times: 13:00 - 14:00
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Event Files
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Transformative Learning in Study Abroad Programmes
The Potential of Transformative Learning in Study Abroad Programmes: Factors and Conditions that Promote or Constrain Transformative Learning - Asma Alblooshi
The Student Capital
The Student Capital and Success scale: a tool for universities to mitigate “rich-parents effects” - Elizabete Cardoso
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