Journal article Open Access

Inequalities in Higher Education and Students' Perceptions of Factors Influencing Academic Performance

Violetta Parutis

This qualitative study aims to answer the following research questions: i) What are the factors that students perceive as relevant to a) promoting and b) preventing good grades? ii) How does socio-economic status (SES) feature in those beliefs? We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 first- and second-year undergraduates of varying SES at a research-intensive university in the UK. The interviews yielded eight factors that students perceived as promoting and six perceived as preventing good grades. The findings suggested one significant difference between the beliefs of low and high SES students in that low SES students perceive themselves to be at a greater disadvantage to their peers while high SES students do not have such beliefs. This could have knock-on effects on their performance.

Files (250.3 kB)
Name Size
250.3 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 99
Downloads 66
Data volume 1.5 MB1.5 MB
Unique views 99
Unique downloads 66


Cite as