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University lecturers’ construction of the ‘ideal’ undergraduate student

Wong, B. ORCID: and Chiu, Y.-L. T. (2020) University lecturers’ construction of the ‘ideal’ undergraduate student. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44 (1). pp. 54-68. ISSN 0309-877X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2018.1504010


Research on the ‘ideal’ or ‘good’ student tends to be situated within compulsory schooling. Few recent studies have focused on lecturers’ conceptualisation and construction of the ‘ideal’ university student. Informed by 30 in-depth interviews with lecturers from two post-92 English universities within the social sciences, we explore how the notion of ‘ideal’ student is understood in contemporary higher education. We focus on lecturers’ expectations of undergraduate students, as well as their views of the ‘ideal’ student in different teaching and learning contexts. We identified specific personal and academic skillsets that are desirable of students, including preparation, engagement, commitment, as well as being critical, reflective and progressing. The ability to achieve high grades, interestingly, is rarely mentioned as important. Implications for policy and practice are discussed as we present a much-needed update on the current features of the ‘ideal’ university student, which can influence student experience, especially the lecturer-student relationship.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:78569
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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