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The gap year for geographers: effects and paradoxes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalGeography
Journal number1
Volume90
Number of pages10
Pages32-41
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper examines why the growing gap-year phenomenon is important for university geography departments in the context of education and employment. The research examines the scale and types of gap years, and their effects on students. The study uses a multi-actor approach comprising information from national statistical sources, university departments, students who have taken gap years and commercial gap-year providers. The paper draws some lessons for geography departments such as the need to systematically record the effects of a gap year. It highlights some paradoxes of any expansion of the gap-year market; for example, that expansion may reduce the benefits of the gap-year experience and may narrow the types of gap year taken. Issues of social exclusion also arise.