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Home or away? Issues of "choice", living arrangements and what it means to be a student

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This article explores first year undergraduate students‘ choice of living arrangements and how they may impact on their experience of university. Using data from the UK Economic and Social Research Council/Teaching and Learning Research project Learning and Teaching for Social Diversity and Difference, the authors explore the range of living arrangements which students may opt for, the reasons for their choices and the extent to which personal choices are mediated by structural factors. Whilst confirming the notion of stratification between the pre- and post-1992 universities in the study, the data also reveal the complexity and diversity of choice-making at an individual level. The article discusses how living arrangements may facilitate or constrain students’ engagement with and orientation to university life and study, and draws out the implications for universities and university teachers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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