eCite Digital Repository

Precarious education and the university: navigating the silenced borders of participation


Harwood, V and O'Shea, S and Uptin, J and Humphry, N and Kervin, L, Precarious education and the university: navigating the silenced borders of participation, International Journal on School Disaffection, 10, (2) pp. 23-44. ISSN 1478-8497 (2013) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Published version)

Copyright Statement

Institute of Education Press 2013. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ((CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.18546/IJSD.10.2.02


Access to and participation in university education is a key equity issue, with increased efforts to widen the participation of secondary school-aged students from low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds in many countries worldwide. In Australia, programmes aimed at widening university participation generally target LSES children and young people engaged in schooling. Access to such programmes thus demands a connection to schooling, yet not all school-age young people have such connections: they may experience what we term 'precarious' relationships to education. Without school connections, young people with precarious relationships to education have extremely limited opportunities to engage (or to imagine engaging) in higher education. This paper considers this issue from the perspectives of young people who have precarious relationships with school education. Drawing on qualitative research investigating disadvantage and university education, the paper reports on how the imagination of university education, which might be argued to be a 'silenced' border of social inclusion, is described by young people with precarious relationships to education. Drawing on Judith Butler's book Precarious Life (2004), the paper puts forward the argument that the precariousness of education is relational and that universities thus have a moral responsibility to recognize and respond to the educational precariousness of the Other.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:access and participation, university, social inclusion
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:Humphry, N (Dr Nicoli Barnes)
ID Code:136880
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2020-01-21
Last Modified:2020-03-17
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page