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An investigation into the provision of support for mature international students at UK HEIs to foster belonging

Pervez, Aneeza, Dangeni, Dangeni, Koutrou, Niki, Miller, Claire and Wisson, Charlotte (2024) An investigation into the provision of support for mature international students at UK HEIs to foster belonging. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 5 (2). pp. 148-168. ISSN 2399-1836

Item Type: Article


Widening participation and lifelong learning have emerged as areas of keen debate in Higher Education. The rapid expansion of international students in UK HEIs has led
universities across the UK to turn their attention towards ensuring that students have the necessary foundations to succeed. However, quite often students with multiple
characteristics (‘intersectionality’) are marginalised. An example of such a group is mature international students, who may be overlooked and under-supported. Current
literature indicates that both mature and international students do not fit into the traditional university culture with additional family, work, and financial pressures, often
exacerbating their feelings of alienation and a weaker sense of belonging to the university community. Whilst student belonging has become the focus of research in
HEIs, limited research exists around supporting mature international students. Drawing upon primary and secondary data from across 44 UK HEIs, this study synthesizes the current levels of support offered h to mature international students
and gaps in provision, highlighted by researchers and practitioners. Our results show that whilst a wide range of support exists to foster the belonging of mature or
international students, this largely fails to cater for mature international students. The study highlights the importance of moving away from a deficit model and ensuring that
HEIs focus on facilitating cultural inclusivity.

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Depositing User: Niki Koutrou


Item ID: 17310
ISSN: 2399-1836
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Aneeza Pervez: ORCID iD
ORCID for Niki Koutrou: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 13:43
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2024 13:45


Author: Aneeza Pervez ORCID iD
Author: Niki Koutrou ORCID iD
Author: Dangeni Dangeni
Author: Claire Miller
Author: Charlotte Wisson

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University of Sunderland in London


Education > Higher Education

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