Universities in collaboration for widening participation in higher education
The project Universities in collaboration for widening participation in higher education
concerns the initiation and development of an international relationship regarding research on widening participation. The research and exchange will involve two universities: Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Malmö University (MAU) in Malmö, Sweden. The overarching aim of the project is to increase the accessibility of knowledge and successful completion for all students. This aim requires a more profound understanding of the challenges students with a different mother tongue, ethnicity, and class background face in their studies, factors that may increase the risk of dropout (Svensson & Berlin Kolm, 2017). It also requires a deeper understanding of how universities and their teachers can address those challenges to strengthen students’ language and knowledge development, their sense of belonging, and their identities as learners at university as well as their professional identities.
Objectives of the project:
- To identify the universities different strategies and conditions for widening recruitment and widening participation in the light of specific national and local conditions.
- To identify policies, cultural (also disciplinary subcultures), and institutional processes that promote or hinder completion.
- To identify the factors which promote or constrain access, retention, sense of belonging, and completion of students with different social backgrounds and life situations (non-academic/academic, family situation, the workload in addition to the studies, age, gender, and ethnicity).
- To identify available support for students’ social and academic inclusion and study success at university, faculty, and institutional level.
- To increase knowledge and understanding of what promotes students’ construction of a learner identity in different higher education contexts.