The care-less academy? Making space for parents and carers in higher education

Spacey, Rachel, Sanderson, Rebecca and Zile, Amy ORCID: (2024) The care-less academy? Making space for parents and carers in higher education. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 26 (1). pp. 7-33. ISSN 1466-6529

[thumbnail of s2]
PDF (s2) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (278kB) | Preview


Within Higher Education (HE) research there is increasing interest in the links between student identity, experience, and wellbeing, particularly in relation to minority student groups. One such group is Students with Caring Responsibilities (SCRs), consisting of both students who are carers and/or parents (including those students who undertake the role of carer and parent), who it has been suggested have been actively constructed as ‘other’ in academia (Moreau, 2016) such that their experiences and needs are not well understood.  Indeed, HE has been described as a ‘care-less’ environment, characterised by competitive individualism within which students are assumed to be unencumbered by the responsibilities of care (Lynch, 2010; Moreau, 2016). This article details findings from a rapid evidence review and online survey of a UK research project titled Who Cares? funded by SMaRteN (the Student Mental Health Research Network). The project explored the challenges faced by SCRs with a focus on their wellbeing and was shaped by principles of co-design and collaboration and, resisting a deficit model approach, also highlights the strengths which SCRs bring to their studies and their institution. For universities to become truly inclusive, these strengths should be recognised, and ways found to empower SCRs to reshape the university into a ‘care-full’, not ‘care-less’, institution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by SMaRteN via UK Research and Innovation [grant number ES/S00324X/1].
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 May 2024 11:30
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 00:11
DOI: 10.5456/WPLL.26.1.7


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item