Let's get visible: evidence-based interventions aimed at supporting, empowering and celebrating student-parents in higher education.
Keywords:mature students, student mothers, widening participation, student-parents, access and participation
This paper analyses the findings of a two-stage small-scale research project investigating the needs of undergraduate students with dependent children (‘student-parents’) studying in a post-1992 university. The findings of Stage 1 of the study, using data from semi-structured interviews with student-parents, show that student-parents need two things from their institution: a sense of belonging and flexibility. In Stage 2, a questionnaire survey was used to explore the impact of two interventions piloted during the 2021-22 academic year to address the Stage 1 findings. The paper then presents the next steps in this project: co-creation, with students, of systems designed not only to make visible our student-parent community but also to support, empower and celebrate their identities as student-parents.
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