Understanding and meeting the needs of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds

Prem Ramburuth, Charmine E.J. Härtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight factors that facilitate or hinder the entry and academic achievement of students from low socioeconomic status into higher education, and facilitate understanding about how such students can be supported in their learning at university. Design/methodology/approach – The authors draw on the literature on social inclusion, social exclusion, social identity and education, and link key aspects to the access, participation and learning success of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in higher education. Findings – The paper identifies socioeconomic factors that impact on student learning and provides a comprehensive framework for understanding, supporting and addressing the needs of students from the target group. Practical implications – The findings and discussion will contribute to the knowledge and teaching resource base required for institutions, academic and support staff to formulate and implement effective strategies for increased participation in higher education by students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. Originality/value – Most discussion and research on social inclusion and exclusion tends to relate to factors that lead to social disadvantage in general, but there is a growing need to consider the disadvantage in terms of access to higher education and the creation of learning opportunities that lead to success and educational advancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalMulticultural Education and Technology Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Disadvantaged groups
  • Equal opportunities
  • Higher education
  • Students

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