Mobilising family support: implications for the academic resilience of international students
Professor Jacqueline Stevenson
Family support is an important factor in enhancing students' academic resilience
This project focuses on international students, exploring the impact of family support or, conversely, estrangement from family, during their UK studies. The research was conducted in partnership with Stand Alone, the charity supporting people who are estranged, and funded by the UK Council for International Student Affairs. It evidences the different forms of family support that international students mobilise, points in the student life-cycle when family support matters most, factors that may inhibit students from being able to mobilise such support, and the impact that distance from family has on emotional and social well-being and/or feelings of estrangement.
Key themes emerging were that despite the lack of overt recognition of the support that families bring, families have a critical influence on a student’s experience of higher education, either through presence or absence. However, closeness is not always a positive and distance is not always a negative. Findings can be used to inform universities' student retention and success strategies.