Four domains of students’ sense of belonging to university

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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

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Última Atualiz.: 09-01-2019 9:02

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Students’ sense of belonging is known to be strongly associated with
academic achievement and a successful life at university. To achieve a
comprehensive understanding of belonging, this study collected data
via the 10 Words Question. Responses from 426 participants were
analysed using a sequence of analytic methods including In Vivo coding,
systematic coding, clustering, and contingency analysis. The results show
that, in addition to academic and social engagement, there are two
additional domains of belonging which are often neglected:
surroundings and personal space. Surroundings equate to participants’
living space, and geographical and cultural location, while personal
spaces refer to life satisfaction, life attitudes, identity and personal
interests. Both positive and negative data demonstrate the complex and
multi-dimensional character of belonging in higher education. The study
concludes that policies for student engagement in higher education
should reflect all four domains to support the full range of students’
experiences.

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