Lone parents’ experiences of Higher Education
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In the UK, close to one in four children are cared for by a lone parent (Policy Research Institute, 2007:8). The specific needs of students with parental responsibilities have been largely ignored by widening participation agendas, despite research evidence suggesting that this group is increasing in number (Hinton-Smith, 2012; Moreau, 2011). One of the key challenges at Plymouth (and elsewhere) is that data classifying students as parents is not collected on application or enrolment, and as a consequence this group remain largely invisible. Student Finance England no longer offers specific funding for single parents adding to the difficulties in identifying these students. This project aimed to explore lone parents’ experiences and aspirations of studying at Plymouth University. Specifically, we seek to uncover issues that relate to transition, induction, study and support.
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