Students do exercise agency and make space for alternative life trajectories via participation in higher education. They seek ways to be fully engaged with their studies and the broader higher education community. However, social background and earlier life course alters everyday experiences in higher education. Individuals do not simply ‘choose’ their social positioning and relations; a politicized understanding of agency considers how institutionalized (discriminatory) discourses, structures and practices constrain possibilities for participation. Agency framework is ideal for understanding the interplay between individuals and social structures. We investigate inequalities and misrecognitions that create barriers to participation, as well as the ways in which student participation and agency are enhanced in/through higher education.



  • Mature students’ experiences and agency
  • Students who enter higher education through vocational route and/or without matriculation examination
  • PhD students’ agency
  • The potential of critical and feminist pedagogies