Social Integration & the Role of Student Societies in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study in the UK’

Damian Gallagher, Audrey Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper reports the research findings of an exploratory study designed to examine the role that planned efforts to establish and cultivate a student society play in the social integration of undergraduate students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK. It identifies and explores the potential positive and negative benefits and outcomes that the operation of such a society can provide. The study aimed to achieve a better understanding of the role that a student society can play in the social integration of students. A qualitative methodology using 12 in-depth interviews was employed. Data were analysed in relation to the key theme of the study, that is, student-peer and student-staff interactions. In addition, emergent themes were recorded and evaluated. The findings demonstrated that involvement in a student society did contribute to the social integration of students, it was found to be a key factor in reducing student attrition and dropout rates. The findings also demonstrate that a student society can make a meaningful and positive contribution to the management and administration of HEIs in terms of the perceived employability of students and the potential for student recruitment. It would appear that perhaps the value of a student society is currently under-realised. Student societies could be viewed as a resource that with proper attention and development and could provide real benefits for both students and institutions across the entire HEI environment of the UK. Although there is a danger of student marginality occurring, there are ways to address this potential drawback.
LanguageEnglish
Pages275-286
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

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social integration
society
education
student
employability
marginality
drop-out
Society

Keywords

  • Social Integration
  • Student Societies
  • Higher Education
  • Marketing

Cite this

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title = "Social Integration & the Role of Student Societies in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study in the UK’",
abstract = "This paper reports the research findings of an exploratory study designed to examine the role that planned efforts to establish and cultivate a student society play in the social integration of undergraduate students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK. It identifies and explores the potential positive and negative benefits and outcomes that the operation of such a society can provide. The study aimed to achieve a better understanding of the role that a student society can play in the social integration of students. A qualitative methodology using 12 in-depth interviews was employed. Data were analysed in relation to the key theme of the study, that is, student-peer and student-staff interactions. In addition, emergent themes were recorded and evaluated. The findings demonstrated that involvement in a student society did contribute to the social integration of students, it was found to be a key factor in reducing student attrition and dropout rates. The findings also demonstrate that a student society can make a meaningful and positive contribution to the management and administration of HEIs in terms of the perceived employability of students and the potential for student recruitment. It would appear that perhaps the value of a student society is currently under-realised. Student societies could be viewed as a resource that with proper attention and development and could provide real benefits for both students and institutions across the entire HEI environment of the UK. Although there is a danger of student marginality occurring, there are ways to address this potential drawback.",
keywords = "Social Integration, Student Societies, Higher Education, Marketing",
author = "Damian Gallagher and Audrey Gilmore",
note = "Reference text: Astin AW. 1984. Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel 25: 297–308. Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 325 Bellenger DN, Bernhardt KL, Goldstucker JL. 2011. Qualitative Research in Marketing. Marketing Classics Press Inc.: USA. Brew JM. 1946. In the Service of Youth. Faber and Faber: London. Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 11 Bryman A, Bell E. 2007. Business Research Methods. Oxford University Press: UK. Carson D, Gilmore A, Perry C, Gronhaug K. 2001. Qualitative Marketing Research. Sage Publications: London. Condell J, Yogarajah P. 2010. Evaluation of peer-assisted learning in mathematics (PALM) for second-year undergraduate mathematics. Centre for Higher Education Practice Journal in Teaching and Learning - Perspectives on Pedagogy and Practice (University of Ulster) 1: 71–83. Cox DR, Goff DC. 1996. Starting and operating a student investment club. Financial Practice and Education 6: 78–85. Edwards LJ, Muir EJ. 2005. Promoting entrepreneurship at the University of Glamorgan through formal and informal learning. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 12(4): 613–626. CrossRef Feldman MS. 1995. Qualitative Research Methods: strategies for Interpreting Qualitative Data. Sage Publications Ltd: London. Forbes AH. 2008. Retention of first year undergraduate students in the context of mass higher education: a new longitudinal interactionist model. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education 21(3): 25–33. CrossRef Garrison DR, Kanuka H. 2004. Blended learning: uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 7(2): 95–105. CrossRef Gerdes H, Mallinckrodt B. 1994. Emotional, social and academic adjustment of college students: a longitudinal study of retention. Journal of Counseling and Development 72(3): 281–288. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(177K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 87 Guba EG, Lincoln YS. 1994. Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research, cited in Handbook of Qualitative Research, Malhotra NK, Lincoln YS (eds.). Sage Publications Ltd: USA; 105–117. Grinder B, Cooper DW, Britt M. 1999. An integrative approach to using student investment clubs and student investment funds in the finance curriculum. Financial Services Review 8: 211–221. CrossRef Grubb F. 2006. Does going Greek impair undergraduate academic performance. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 65(5): 1085–1110. Direct Link: AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(214K)ReferencesWeb of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 3 Guillory RM, Wolverton M. 2008. It's about family: native American student persistence in higher education. Journal of Higher Education 79(1): 58–87. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 6 Harvey L, Drew S. 2006. The first year experience: a literature review for the Higher Education Academy. York. HEA Academy: London. Hemsley-Brown J, Oplatka I. 2006. Universities in a competitive global marketplace: a systematic review of the literature on higher education marketing. International Journal of Public Sector Management 19(4): 316–338. CrossRef Hogg M, Maclaran P. 2008. Rhetorical issues in writing Interpretivist consumer research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 11(2): 130–146. CrossRef Holden MT, Lynch P. 2004. Choosing the appropriate methodology: understanding research philosophy. The Marketing Review 4(4): 397–409. CrossRef Jongbloed B. 2003. Marketisation in higher education: Clark's triangle and the essential ingredients of markets. Higher Education Quarterly 57(2): 110–135. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(123K)References Kraemer BA. 1997. The academic and social integration of Hispanic students into college. The Review of Higher Education 20(2): 163–179. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 25 Lassibille G 2011. Student progress in higher education: what we have learned from large-scale studies. The Open Education Journal 4: 1–8. CrossRef Marshall C, Rossman GB. 1989. Designing Qualitative Research. Sage Publications Ltd: London. McAlexander JH, Koenig HF. 2012. Building communities of philanthropy in higher education: contextual influences. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 17: 122–131. Direct Link: AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(202K)References McCubbin I. 2003. An Examination of Criticisms Made of Tinto's 1975 Student Integration Model of Attrition. www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/localed/icubb.pdf (1 August 2012). Miles M, Hubermann M. 1994. Qualitative Data Analysis. Sage Publications Ltd: USA. Minichello V, Aroni R, Timewell E, Alexander L. 1995. In-depth Interviewing: researching people. Longman Cheshire Publications: Melbourne. Morgan G, Smircich L. 1980. The case for qualitative research. Academy of Management Review 5 (4): 491–500. Parrott G. 2009. Redesigning the first year business curriculum at the University of Bedfordshire. International Journal of Management Education 8: 13–21. CrossRef Pike GR. 2003. Membership in a fraternity or sorority, student engagement, and educational outcomes at AAU public research universities. Journal of College Student Development 44(3): 369–382. CrossRef Pittaway L, Cope J. 2007. Entrepreneurship education: a systematic review of the evidence. International Small Business Journal 25(5): 477–506. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 32 Pittaway L, Rodriguez-Falcon E, Aiyegbayo O, King A. 2010. The role of entrepreneurship clubs and societies in entrepreneurial learning. International Small Business Journal 29(1): 37–57. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 2 Qiping Y, White G. 1994. The ‘Marketisation’ of Chinese higher education: a critical assessment. Comparative Education 30(3): 217–227. CrossRef Roberts J, McNeese MN. 2010. Student involvement and engagement in higher education based on student origin. Research in Higher Education Journal 7(1): 1–11. Sargeant A. 2009. Marketing Management for nonprofit organisations. Oxford University Press: Oxford UK. Schlossberg NK. 1989. Marginality and mattering: key issues in building community. New Directions for Student Services 48: 5–15. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(635K)References Silverman D. 1993. Interpreting qualitative data: analysing text, talk and interaction. Sage Publications Ltd: London. Smart DT, Kelley CA, Conant JS. 1999. Marketing education in the year 2000: changes observed and challenges anticipated. Journal of Marketing Education 21(3): 206–216. CrossRef Stage FK. 1989. Motivation, academic and social integration and early dropout. American Educational Research Journal 26(3): 385–402. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 32 Subotzky G. 2000. Complementing the marketisation of higher education: new modes of knowledge production in community-higher education partnerships. In Changing Modes; new Knowledge Production and its Implications for Higher Education in South Africa, ed. Kraak A. HSRC: Pretoria. Taylor SA, Hunter GL, Melton H, Goodwin SA. 2011. Student engagement and marketing classes. Journal of Marketing Education 33(1): 73–92. Thomas L. 2002. Student retention in higher education; the role of institutional habitus. Journal of Educational Policy 17(4): 423–432. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 85 Tinto V. 1975. Dropout from higher education: a theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research 45: 89–125. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 814 Tinto V. 1997. Classrooms as communities: exploring the educational character of student persistence. Journal of Higher Education 68(6): 599–623. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 111 Wehlage G, Rutter R, Smith G, Lesko N, Fernandez R. 1989. Reducing the Risk: schools as Communities of Support. Falmer Press: Philadelphia USA. Web of Science{\circledR} Wilcox P, Winn S, Fyvie-Gauld M. 2005. ‘It was nothing to do with the university, it was just the people’: the role of social support in the first-year experience of higher education. Studies in Higher Education 30(6): 707–722. CrossRef,Web of Science{\circledR} Times Cited: 42 Yorke M, Longden B. 2008. The First Year Experience of Higher Education in the UK. Higher Education Academy. http:andandheaacademy.ac.ukandourworkandresearchandsurveysandfye.",
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AU - Gilmore, Audrey

N1 - Reference text: Astin AW. 1984. Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel 25: 297–308. Web of Science® Times Cited: 325 Bellenger DN, Bernhardt KL, Goldstucker JL. 2011. Qualitative Research in Marketing. Marketing Classics Press Inc.: USA. Brew JM. 1946. In the Service of Youth. Faber and Faber: London. Web of Science® Times Cited: 11 Bryman A, Bell E. 2007. Business Research Methods. Oxford University Press: UK. Carson D, Gilmore A, Perry C, Gronhaug K. 2001. Qualitative Marketing Research. Sage Publications: London. Condell J, Yogarajah P. 2010. Evaluation of peer-assisted learning in mathematics (PALM) for second-year undergraduate mathematics. Centre for Higher Education Practice Journal in Teaching and Learning - Perspectives on Pedagogy and Practice (University of Ulster) 1: 71–83. Cox DR, Goff DC. 1996. Starting and operating a student investment club. Financial Practice and Education 6: 78–85. Edwards LJ, Muir EJ. 2005. Promoting entrepreneurship at the University of Glamorgan through formal and informal learning. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 12(4): 613–626. CrossRef Feldman MS. 1995. Qualitative Research Methods: strategies for Interpreting Qualitative Data. Sage Publications Ltd: London. Forbes AH. 2008. Retention of first year undergraduate students in the context of mass higher education: a new longitudinal interactionist model. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education 21(3): 25–33. CrossRef Garrison DR, Kanuka H. 2004. Blended learning: uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 7(2): 95–105. CrossRef Gerdes H, Mallinckrodt B. 1994. Emotional, social and academic adjustment of college students: a longitudinal study of retention. Journal of Counseling and Development 72(3): 281–288. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(177K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 87 Guba EG, Lincoln YS. 1994. Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research, cited in Handbook of Qualitative Research, Malhotra NK, Lincoln YS (eds.). Sage Publications Ltd: USA; 105–117. Grinder B, Cooper DW, Britt M. 1999. An integrative approach to using student investment clubs and student investment funds in the finance curriculum. Financial Services Review 8: 211–221. CrossRef Grubb F. 2006. Does going Greek impair undergraduate academic performance. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 65(5): 1085–1110. Direct Link: AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(214K)ReferencesWeb of Science® Times Cited: 3 Guillory RM, Wolverton M. 2008. It's about family: native American student persistence in higher education. Journal of Higher Education 79(1): 58–87. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 6 Harvey L, Drew S. 2006. The first year experience: a literature review for the Higher Education Academy. York. HEA Academy: London. Hemsley-Brown J, Oplatka I. 2006. Universities in a competitive global marketplace: a systematic review of the literature on higher education marketing. International Journal of Public Sector Management 19(4): 316–338. CrossRef Hogg M, Maclaran P. 2008. Rhetorical issues in writing Interpretivist consumer research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 11(2): 130–146. CrossRef Holden MT, Lynch P. 2004. Choosing the appropriate methodology: understanding research philosophy. The Marketing Review 4(4): 397–409. CrossRef Jongbloed B. 2003. Marketisation in higher education: Clark's triangle and the essential ingredients of markets. Higher Education Quarterly 57(2): 110–135. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(123K)References Kraemer BA. 1997. The academic and social integration of Hispanic students into college. The Review of Higher Education 20(2): 163–179. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 25 Lassibille G 2011. Student progress in higher education: what we have learned from large-scale studies. The Open Education Journal 4: 1–8. CrossRef Marshall C, Rossman GB. 1989. Designing Qualitative Research. Sage Publications Ltd: London. McAlexander JH, Koenig HF. 2012. Building communities of philanthropy in higher education: contextual influences. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 17: 122–131. Direct Link: AbstractFull Article (HTML)PDF(202K)References McCubbin I. 2003. An Examination of Criticisms Made of Tinto's 1975 Student Integration Model of Attrition. www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/localed/icubb.pdf (1 August 2012). Miles M, Hubermann M. 1994. Qualitative Data Analysis. Sage Publications Ltd: USA. Minichello V, Aroni R, Timewell E, Alexander L. 1995. In-depth Interviewing: researching people. Longman Cheshire Publications: Melbourne. Morgan G, Smircich L. 1980. The case for qualitative research. Academy of Management Review 5 (4): 491–500. Parrott G. 2009. Redesigning the first year business curriculum at the University of Bedfordshire. International Journal of Management Education 8: 13–21. CrossRef Pike GR. 2003. Membership in a fraternity or sorority, student engagement, and educational outcomes at AAU public research universities. Journal of College Student Development 44(3): 369–382. CrossRef Pittaway L, Cope J. 2007. Entrepreneurship education: a systematic review of the evidence. International Small Business Journal 25(5): 477–506. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 32 Pittaway L, Rodriguez-Falcon E, Aiyegbayo O, King A. 2010. The role of entrepreneurship clubs and societies in entrepreneurial learning. International Small Business Journal 29(1): 37–57. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 2 Qiping Y, White G. 1994. The ‘Marketisation’ of Chinese higher education: a critical assessment. Comparative Education 30(3): 217–227. CrossRef Roberts J, McNeese MN. 2010. Student involvement and engagement in higher education based on student origin. Research in Higher Education Journal 7(1): 1–11. Sargeant A. 2009. Marketing Management for nonprofit organisations. Oxford University Press: Oxford UK. Schlossberg NK. 1989. Marginality and mattering: key issues in building community. New Directions for Student Services 48: 5–15. Direct Link: AbstractPDF(635K)References Silverman D. 1993. Interpreting qualitative data: analysing text, talk and interaction. Sage Publications Ltd: London. Smart DT, Kelley CA, Conant JS. 1999. Marketing education in the year 2000: changes observed and challenges anticipated. Journal of Marketing Education 21(3): 206–216. CrossRef Stage FK. 1989. Motivation, academic and social integration and early dropout. American Educational Research Journal 26(3): 385–402. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 32 Subotzky G. 2000. Complementing the marketisation of higher education: new modes of knowledge production in community-higher education partnerships. In Changing Modes; new Knowledge Production and its Implications for Higher Education in South Africa, ed. Kraak A. HSRC: Pretoria. Taylor SA, Hunter GL, Melton H, Goodwin SA. 2011. Student engagement and marketing classes. Journal of Marketing Education 33(1): 73–92. Thomas L. 2002. Student retention in higher education; the role of institutional habitus. Journal of Educational Policy 17(4): 423–432. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 85 Tinto V. 1975. Dropout from higher education: a theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research 45: 89–125. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 814 Tinto V. 1997. Classrooms as communities: exploring the educational character of student persistence. Journal of Higher Education 68(6): 599–623. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 111 Wehlage G, Rutter R, Smith G, Lesko N, Fernandez R. 1989. Reducing the Risk: schools as Communities of Support. Falmer Press: Philadelphia USA. Web of Science® Wilcox P, Winn S, Fyvie-Gauld M. 2005. ‘It was nothing to do with the university, it was just the people’: the role of social support in the first-year experience of higher education. Studies in Higher Education 30(6): 707–722. CrossRef,Web of Science® Times Cited: 42 Yorke M, Longden B. 2008. The First Year Experience of Higher Education in the UK. Higher Education Academy. http:andandheaacademy.ac.ukandourworkandresearchandsurveysandfye.

PY - 2013/7

Y1 - 2013/7

N2 - This paper reports the research findings of an exploratory study designed to examine the role that planned efforts to establish and cultivate a student society play in the social integration of undergraduate students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK. It identifies and explores the potential positive and negative benefits and outcomes that the operation of such a society can provide. The study aimed to achieve a better understanding of the role that a student society can play in the social integration of students. A qualitative methodology using 12 in-depth interviews was employed. Data were analysed in relation to the key theme of the study, that is, student-peer and student-staff interactions. In addition, emergent themes were recorded and evaluated. The findings demonstrated that involvement in a student society did contribute to the social integration of students, it was found to be a key factor in reducing student attrition and dropout rates. The findings also demonstrate that a student society can make a meaningful and positive contribution to the management and administration of HEIs in terms of the perceived employability of students and the potential for student recruitment. It would appear that perhaps the value of a student society is currently under-realised. Student societies could be viewed as a resource that with proper attention and development and could provide real benefits for both students and institutions across the entire HEI environment of the UK. Although there is a danger of student marginality occurring, there are ways to address this potential drawback.

AB - This paper reports the research findings of an exploratory study designed to examine the role that planned efforts to establish and cultivate a student society play in the social integration of undergraduate students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK. It identifies and explores the potential positive and negative benefits and outcomes that the operation of such a society can provide. The study aimed to achieve a better understanding of the role that a student society can play in the social integration of students. A qualitative methodology using 12 in-depth interviews was employed. Data were analysed in relation to the key theme of the study, that is, student-peer and student-staff interactions. In addition, emergent themes were recorded and evaluated. The findings demonstrated that involvement in a student society did contribute to the social integration of students, it was found to be a key factor in reducing student attrition and dropout rates. The findings also demonstrate that a student society can make a meaningful and positive contribution to the management and administration of HEIs in terms of the perceived employability of students and the potential for student recruitment. It would appear that perhaps the value of a student society is currently under-realised. Student societies could be viewed as a resource that with proper attention and development and could provide real benefits for both students and institutions across the entire HEI environment of the UK. Although there is a danger of student marginality occurring, there are ways to address this potential drawback.

KW - Social Integration

KW - Student Societies

KW - Higher Education

KW - Marketing

U2 - 10.1002/nvsm.1472

DO - 10.1002/nvsm.1472

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 275

EP - 286

JO - International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing

T2 - International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing

JF - International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing

SN - 1465-4520

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ER -