’A degree isn’t enough anymore’: Student experiences and orientation to HE

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Posted on 10 March 2011

Professor Clare Holdsworth, Social Geography at Keele, will deliver the next lecture in the University's programme of Inaugural Lectures for 2010/11, on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011, in the Westminster Theatre on the Keele University campus. The title of the lecture is "’A degree isn’t enough anymore’: Student experiences and orientation to HE".

 At a time of considerable challenges facing Higher Education, those facing undergraduates are particularly acute. Not only are students finding it harder to secure a place, but on graduating the competition for jobs is intense.  One aspect of these changes is that students are increasingly encouraged to make the most of their time at university, to build up relevant experiences and to promote themselves to potential employers.  This lecture explore the challenges of this revaluation of undergraduate education, not just to universities, but to students themselves and how students from different backgrounds navigate the increasing complexity of what it means to be a student.
Professor Holdsworth’s research interests focus on three main themes: family practices and mobilties; higher education and social justice; and family health in relation to substance (mis)use.

She has published widely on students’ mobility and more recently has considered the relationship between students and local communities and how this impacts on widening participation policies and the opportunities for mutual learning between HEIs and local learners. The recent expansion of HEI community engagement projects supporting student volunteering raises important questions about who benefits from these activities: students, universities and/or local communities? Professor Holdsworth is currently carrying out a collaborative project on student volunteering with the Institute for Volunteering Research, funded by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Research on family health and substance (mis)use focuses on the interplay between family relationships and health outcomes, focusing on parenting practices. Completed research has considered the impact of parental smoking on family relationships, current research explores the significance of family practices for both women’s and young people’s drinking.
Outside of Keele she is actively involved in supporting social science research, through membership of learned societies, editorial boards and undertaking various tasks for the ESRC. I am a member of the ESRC’s Methods and Infrastructure Committee, Board of Examiners for the Open Studentship Competition and Peer Review College for Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6 pm in the Westminster Theatre, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Foskett.

Admission is free; no ticket is required.

The next lecture in the series is Professor Krysia Dziedzic, Primary Care Health Sciences, “Best evidence for best therapies in osteoarthritis” on Tuesday, 10 May 2011.

For further information contact: Chris Stone, Press Office. Tel: 01782 733375.