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Higher Education Students: Barriers to Engagement; Psychological Alienation Theory, Trauma and Trust; a Systematic Review.

Jones, Caroline and Nangah, Zoe (2020) Higher Education Students: Barriers to Engagement; Psychological Alienation Theory, Trauma and Trust; a Systematic Review. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education. ISSN 1360-3108

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Abstract

This paper is a systematic review of the Widening Participation (WP), Higher Education (HE) student demographic in the UK. It argues that the impact and presence of traumatic emotional experiences in student populations connected to psychosocial and academic trust alienation theory, contributes to WP engagement barriers in HE. Using PRISMA guidelines, 43 publications were screened based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. This paper identifies the influence of WP students’ experiences of trauma and how this impacts on their HE educational engagement. Secondly, it encourages the HE community to consider their commitment to the WP demographic, and thirdly it identifies strategies to support WP student success and improve HE Institutions (HEI’s) commitment to meeting WP agendas. Additionally, it identifies gaps in knowledge regarding the complexities of the WP student demographic considering educational and psychological links that have not previously been examined. It encourages HEI’s commitment to social mobility from both a political and institutional standpoint specifically aligning to the WP student demographic barriers to engagement.

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