1st Edition

Contemporary Dynamics of Student Experience and Belonging in Higher Education

Edited By Rille Raaper Copyright 2024

    This timely and rigorous edited collection discusses complex processes related to student experience and belonging in contemporary higher education worldwide. It brings together a variety of recent research that explores contemporary undergraduate student experience in and of higher education.

    Drawing on the case studies from the UK, the USA, Israel and China and a variety of university settings, the chapters problematise the complex processes of developing a sense of belonging in contemporary universities that are increasingly diverse in terms of student population but also heavily marketised. Further, they draw attention to the effects of marketisation on the changing interpersonal relationships in student experience. Above all, the themes covered in this issue promote an understanding of student experience and belonging as a dynamic, relational and non-linear process, intersecting with pre-existing social inequalities as well as market dynamics that forcefully continue to reshape the sector and university practices. This book provides a timely and academically rigorous account of contemporary student experience and belonging in the global context of higher education.

    Contemporary Dynamics of Student Experience and Belonging in Higher Education will be a key resource for scholars, practitioners and researchers of higher education, education policy and leadership, educational studies and research, and anyone interested in understanding and supporting students. It was originally published as a special issue of Critical Studies in Education. 

    Introduction to contemporary dynamics of student experience and belonging in higher education
    Rille Raaper

    1. Cartographies of belonging: mapping nomadic narratives of first-year students
    Kelly W. Guyotte, Maureen A. Flint & Keely S. Latopolski

    2. Racialized retellings: (un)ma(r)king space and place on college campuses
    Maureen A. Flint

    3. Reordering student affairs: from minority absorption to a radical new
    Laura E. Smithers & Paul W. Eaton

    4. The costs of ‘free listening’: negotiating the moral economy of the university
    Adi Sapir

    5. Precarious success and the conspiracy of reflexivity: questioning the ‘habitus transformation’ of working-class students at elite universities
    Jin Jin & Stephen J. Ball

    6. The depersonalised consumer subjectivity and its effect on fostering meaningful relationships between undergraduates and academics in higher education
    Eloise Symonds

    7. Individualised and instrumentalised? Critical thinking, students and the optics of possibility within neoliberal higher education
    Emily Danvers


    Rille Raaper is Associate Professor at Durham University’s School of Education, UK. Rille’s research centres around university students. She has conducted numerous research projects and published widely in the areas of higher education policy and practice and its impact on students as learners, citizens and political agents.