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Doctoral students' access to research cultures - an unequal benefit?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Studies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Volume25
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)149-165
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The article explores how different kinds of social science students from two universities, Woodside and Hillside, access and experience a variety of research cultures in those universities. Previous research on research students has noted considerable differences between science and non-science students, with the latter much more likely to work as lone scholars meeting regularly only with their supervisors. Though other researchers have examined academic cultures and their transmission, more generic peer cultures and research training cultures have not always formed part of these studies. The research involved interviews with 26 home and international students, studying both full- and part-time. Four focus group discussions were also conducted. The data suggest that international students and part-time students have the most difficulty in accessing peer cultures and academic cultures. However, international students are much more favourably disposed towards research training cultures than other students. Some evidence of gender differences affecting student experiences was found but was not as widespread as other differences. The article ends by suggesting some practical changes that could be made in universities to provide more equal access to research cultures by all research students.