School of Education

'I've changed in every possible way someone could change'–transformative university transitions

This article from Dr Rita Hordósy is now available as an open access document through the University of Nottingham research Repository.


Drawing on a longitudinal research project that followed the undergraduate entrants of 2013 into, and through their university time, this paper provides a novel conceptualisation of transformative transitions via looking at the four dimensions of non-linearity, multiplicity, diversity and structure. To do so, it builds on Archer’s (2000, 2003, 2012) relational realist approach and work on reflexivity to show how students select and merge a diverse set of personal concerns to arrive at a modus vivendi. This capstone paper closes a series of publications from a four-year tracking study that collected interview data from a diverse group of 40 students on a yearly basis (n1=40, n2=40, n3=38, n4=33) at an English northern red brick university. The paper explores the changing focus of student experiences, from the social aspects of acclimatisation, to learning to be academic, and finally, becoming a graduate. The results presented here also point to the structural enablements and constraints that higher education institutions and policymakers should mitigate in responding to the inequalities of access and experience. In the context of a large-scale societal crisis, such as the ongoing pandemic, it is key that we understand how university can remain a transformative experience for all students.

Read or download the full publication.

Posted on Thursday 30th March 2023

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