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ERIC Number: EJ1229173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
'Swallow Your Pride and Fear': The Educational Strategies of High-Achieving Non-Traditional University Students
Wong, Billy; Chiu, Yuan-Li Tiffany
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v40 n7 p868-882 2019
With more graduates, degree outcomes have a renewed significance for high-achieving students to stand out in a graduate crowd. In the United Kingdom, over a quarter of undergraduates now leave university with the highest grade -- a 'first-class' degree -- although students from non-traditional and underprivileged backgrounds are the least likely. This article explores the experiences of high-achieving non-traditional (HANT) university students. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 30 final-year students who are on course to achieve a first-class degree from working-class, minority ethnic and/or mature backgrounds, we examine their pathways to academic success through identity works and negotiations. We argue that early successes are crucial for students to re-evaluate their self-expectations as students who can achieve in higher education, while self-esteem, pride or fear can prevent students from maximising their available resources and opportunities. Implications for practice and policy are discussed, including the reflective advice from HANT students towards academic success.
Taylor & Francis. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)