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Widening collaboration in gendered educational settings: Enhancing the academic success of students from low income households in COVID-19 times.

1 January 2020 - 1 December 2021

PI/s in Exeter: Daniela Fernandez Olguin

Sponsor(s): Small Grants Scheme

About the research

Our project consists in the creation and implementation of a collaborative guideline to improve the transitional experiences of 1st-year students from low income households (LIH) during their transition to university in the current pandemic context, promoting skills acquisition to bolster their academic success. We will also examine the intersectional importance of gender and socio-economic status, considering how students’ identity is multiple, and their experiences have nuances that must be included in widening participation strategies. Indeed, we propose a focus on widening collaboration strategies, that promote students from LIH having an active role in the development of these strategies, and that recognise their own knowledge about the challenges that they have faced in achieving academic success.

With our project, we hope to address the inequalities in educational transition experienced by students from LIH by (a) promoting the role of peers’ support in the develop of collaborative strategies and shared knowledge about how to enhance academic success, (b) increasing their participation in discussions of institutional strategies of widening participation, and (c) including a gendered and socio-economic perspective to address the inequalities related to gender and the socioeconomic inequalities associated with their access and ability to obtain a university degree and to enter the workforce. Also, we hope to acknowledge the challenges of social mobility in the COVID-19 pandemic, including a first analysis about how students perceived academic success and the challenges that they are currently experiencing.

Our project will apply a mixed method, with a focus on a participative methodology to understand the insights of underrepresented students in relation to widening participation strategies.