MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    The search for security in precarious times: nontraditional graduates perspectives on higher education and employment

    Finnegan, Fergal and Valadas, Sandra and O'Neill, Jerry and Fragoso, Antonio (2019) The search for security in precarious times: nontraditional graduates perspectives on higher education and employment. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 38 (2). pp. 157-170. ISSN 0260-1370

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    This article explores non-traditional student and graduate views of the university in Ireland and Portugal as it relates to their expectations of, and experiences in, the labour market. The research is based on in-depth biographical interviews with 61 non-traditional students and graduates conducted longitudinally (85 interviews in total). The article contextualises the research in relation to the expansion of higher education internationally as well as national and EU policies aimed at supporting a ‘knowledge-based economy’. It offers an overview of the meaning of precarity. It then outlines key empirical findings from the research related to student expectations of their degree and their postgraduation experience in the labour market. In particular, it explores the phenomenon of precarity amongst graduates how this is experienced and handled in various ways. Using a critical and egalitarian lens the overall aim of the research is to widen the focus of widening participation debates and explore how educational and institutional initiatives impact, or not, on wider social and employment inequalities.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Higher education; non-traditional students; equality; precarity; biographical methods
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 11138
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Fergal Finnegan
    Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 15:35
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Lifelong Education
    Publisher: Taylor and Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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