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Regional stickiness and relative successes: Student and graduate (im)mobilities and planning for the future

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The trend towards ‘local’ higher education participation is on the increase in the UK. Current figures from HESA (2015) reveal that for UK-domiciled undergraduate students, around 25 percent live with parents or guardians and a further 15 percent in their own residence. Moreover, research conducted with university leavers indicates that almost half of employed graduates (45.9 percent) constitute what Ball (2015) terms ‘regional loyals’; that is, students who have grown up in, study in, and later remain to work in the same region of the UK. These trends illuminate a ‘regional stickiness’, for both students and graduates. This presentation will consider the impact of this regional stickiness on the ways students and graduates are able to imagine future careers and establish horizons for and feelings of success. The arguments advanced are developed through the analysis of data from two separate but related research projects exploring student and graduate experiences. The first, a seven-year qualitative longitudinal study with 24 women from North West England (2010), revisited in 2012. The second is a small-scale qualitative research project (SRHE-funded, 2015) with ‘local’ commuter-students at Lancaster University. Taken together, these two studies provide lenses through which to consider the challenges facing students and graduates who exhibit a strong commitment to their region, particularly with regard to how they imagine their post-university pathways into employment and/or further study.

Event (Conference)

TitleAGCAS Research Conference 2017
LocationManchester Metropolitan University Business School
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom