Lone parents’ experiences as HE students Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 15:45
Lone parents' experiences as higher education students addresses the effect of constraints of key resources in terms of time, money and childcare, in informing the extent to which lone parent learners are able to engage fully with the opportunities offered by higher education participation. The book's findings are underpinned by in-depth qualitative research carried out longitudinally over the course of an academic year, with 77 lone parents studying at UK HEIs representing the breadth of the sector.
Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, the book's author and Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Sussex, said:
"Lone parents have long been maligned as lazy, welfare scroungers, and poor role models to their children. This in-depth research challenges stereotypes, presenting narratives from lone parents studying at UK universities. Their experiences chart trajectories of determination in the face of barriers; juggling conflict demands with little support; and centrally, the will to secure a better future for themselves and their children."
"This research illuminates how individual journeys contribute to the development of learner identities. It identifies the significance of individual determination and informal support networks in informing academic success, the context of often inadequate formal support mechanisms. It also offers a first-hand perspective in refusing to problematise lone parenthood. Instead, understanding the needs of lone parent learners is recognised as the route to ensuring that lone parenthood does not constitute a problem in terms of HE participation."