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Dr Kirsty Finn

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview

 I am Lecturer in Higher Education and my research focuses on the everyday practices, personal relationships and mobilities of students and graduates. My recent book, Personal Life, Young Women and Higher Education: A Relational Approach to Student and Graduate Experiences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the ways in which different patterns of engagement and interaction with higher education reflect and potentially redefine family bonds, friendships, romantic and sexual partnerships and peer-shared living arrangements in the context of university participation and exit.


More recently, my work has taken an explicitly mobilities focus; the Everyday Student Mobilities project ([2016-17] funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education) explores the experiences of students who commute to university (rather than engaging in semi-permanent residential mobility). This project considers the sustainability of widening participation initiatives for 'local' students, in terms of pedagogic, social, emotional, and environmental issues. The findings are to be published in a forthcoming co-authored manuscript, Everyday Student Mobilities in Higher Education: Understanding Identities, Belonging and Place-making (London: Bloomsbury Academic)


I am interested in methodologically innovative research; particularly temporal (i.e. qualitative longitudinal research), visual and mobile methods. My work has a strong focus on the interrelated experiences of social class and gender and draws on theoretical frameworks which foreground reflexivity and the relational and emotional dimensions of inequality and identity.  Further interests include graduate employability and university-to-work transitions, and inter-generational issues as they relate to education.





PhD supervision

I am interested in receiving PhD proposals in most areas related to student experiences, access and participation in Higher Education. In particular, I am interested in projects that examine the following: gender, social class and ethnicity in HE experiences; student and graduate mobilities; labour market transitions and graduate experiences; 'employability'; the emotional, relational and affective dimensions of higher education; innovative qualitative research methods, including visual and mobile methods and longitudinal studies.

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