Europe's student population consists of a broad and diverse group of people. This is a group that many are interested in learning more about, but also a group that cannot be so easily defined, despite often simplified messages in the media about who exactly 'the European student' is and what they are interested in. So, how did this idea of a shared identity among European students come about? What is it that European students really want and need? And what role do expectations from society play in this?
To answer some of these questions, we turned to Rachel Brooks, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey (UK). Dr. Brooks has recently done research precisely on the topic of the identities of students in Europe, exploring how Europe's 35 million students are understood in different European countries, and by different social actors. If you're keen to learn more about who Europe's students are, don't miss the latest episode of the EAIE Podcast!
About Rachel Brooks
Rachel Brooks currently works as Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK. She has previously held roles as Head of the Department of Sociology (2012-16) and Associate Dean for the Doctoral College (2017-19). She is also editor-in-chief of Sociology, an executive editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education, co-editor of the 'Research into Higher Education' book series, a member of Governing Council of the Society for Research into Higher Education, and a member of Council of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). She was also a member of the education sub-panel for REF (Research Excellence Framework) 2021.
For further exploration
For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:
→Constructing the Higher Education Student: Perspectives from across Europe
→EAIE blog: Students as key collaborators
→EAIE blog: Understanding international student needs: ESN Survey results
→EAIE blog: Students on the frontlines: transnational student rights