A desire to succeed: exploring aspiration towards higher education participation amongst members of a socio-economically marginalised community

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Date
2023-04-25
Authors
Ó hUiginn, Stiofán
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University College Cork
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Abstract
This thesis is a qualitative interview study that examines the barriers that exist in preventing students from a background of marginalisation from progressing to and through higher education, and how these barriers can be overcome. The study explores aspiration towards higher education participation amongst members of a socio-economically marginalised community, highlighting how having a desire to succeed can strongly contribute to the ability of marginalised students to overcome a multitude of barriers that have traditionally existed in limiting or preventing their participation and success in higher education. Many recurring themes emerged from this study and are discussed throughout the thesis. Whilst research on the experience of socio-economically marginalised students in higher education has traditionally focused on negative outcomes such as – amongst others – drop-out, feelings of inferiority amongst more affluent classmates, failure to complete their degree programme, this study aims to highlight how coming from a socio-economically marginalised background can act as a motivating factor for educational success. Each of the findings sections draws on the aspiration of members of a socio-economically marginalised community to succeed educationally, in spite of challenges and barriers that exist in potentially undermining or preventing said success. This study intends to serve the greater good of equality in education by highlighting the potential of all students, irrespective of their class background, to succeed educationally with the right mindset and supports.
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Keywords
Higher Education, Aspiration, Transition, Socio-economic Marginalisation
Citation
Ó hUiginn, S. 2023. A desire to succeed: exploring aspiration towards higher education participation amongst members of a socio-economically marginalised community. MPhil Thesis, University College Cork.