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Student parents and HE: a cross-national comparison

Researchers: Professor Rachel Brooks

Project overview

Student parents and HE: a cross-national comparison

During its time in office, the UK’s Labour government gave a strong message that having caring responsibilities for a young child should not be seen as a barrier to engaging in education and training.

Nevertheless, despite this policy focus, there have been relatively few studies of the experiences of ‘student parents’ within higher education.

This project seeks to explore the ways in which such students make a decision to embark upon a degree, their experiences during their time at university and the ways in which they are affected by institutional policies and practices.

Moreover, by comparing the experiences of student parents in two European countries with considerably different higher education systems and ‘welfare regimes’ (the UK and Denmark), it will help to highlight the influence of the wider social and political environment.


  • Professor Rachel Brooks
    Primary researcher
    Brunel University

  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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