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  6. It's about time: more equitable understandings of the impact of time for students in HE

It's about time: more equitable understandings of the impact of time for students in HE

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Professor Jacqueline Stevenson; Professor Penny Jane Burke (University of Newcastle)

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University of Newcastle, Australia

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This research focuses on topics of equity in higher education and institutional structures and assumptions of ‘time’ in teaching and learning environments.

Many equity students in higher education are challenged by institutional expectations about ‘time’, with time management impacted by the competing imperatives of study, work, and personal commitments. This research focused primarily on regional and rural students, advocating an institutional emphasis on students’ engagement with learning, alongside flexible undergraduate programmes that are responsive to the complexities of each student’s background.

The research includes an international comparative dimension to further build on work that has been conducted in this area in the UK, and is grounded in interdisciplinary theories from fields of education, sociology, and physics in which assumptions of ‘time’ are recognised as having the potential to embed relations of disempowerment and disadvantage for particular societal equity groups. The project addresses the following overarching research question: How does conventional thinking about time, in terms of educational trajectories and time management, create and reproduce different opportunities and exclusions in higher education?


National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (Australia)

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