"Questions of marginalisation in UK Higher Education": Guest seminar and PGR Workshop

The talk will be hosted by the Centre for Research on Families, Life Course and Generations (FLaG).

“The marginalisation of religious students in UK higher education”, Professor Jacqueline Stevenson (Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre and Co-Director of FLaG, University of Leeds).

We are delighted to welcome Professor Jacqueline Stevenson who will present her paper ‘The marginalisation of religious students in UK higher education’. Following her presentation and questions she has kindly offered to facilitate an open floor discussion of questions of marginalisation and exclusion in HE. We especially invite PGR students to bring their research interests, questions and insights regarding inequalities to this informal group discussion. Some possible prompts for discussion are listed below.

10.00 – 11.00: “The marginalisation of religious students in UK higher education”, Professor Jacqueline Stevenson

Despite being present in high numbers, many religious students are marginalised by the policies and practices of UK higher education, which is framed by a set of prevailing assumptions, namely that UK higher education is (and should be) a secular space; that higher education secularises students so religion becomes irrelevant fairly quickly; and/or that religious students are the cause of (potential) threat and so need to be managed. As a result religious students are frequently perceived as a minority group even if they are not, or subjected to ‘unfreedoms’ (Sen, 1999) and prevented from leading ‘the kind of lives they have reason to value’ (Sen, 1999, p. 10). Drawing on existent literature and institutional Religion and Belief policy documents, this discussion explores how the capabilities framework (Sen, 1999) can be utilised as a helpful heuristic through which to understand marginalisation, including how religious freedom is, or is not, enabled on the higher education campus.

11.00 – 12.00: Jacqueline Stevenson will facilitate a PGR group discussion on related research  questions and challenges

Some prompts for thinking/questions might be as follows but these are just possibilities; the main aim is to invite you to bring your own reflections and points for discussion.

  • other than religious students who might the marginalised of higher education be, in the UK or elsewhere?
  • what methodologies can, and should, we use to research and/or evaluate in this space?
  • how helpful is Sen’s work in elucidating marginalisation, or the practices or marginalisation? Where else might it be helpfully applied?
  • what rights should students, or staff, or anyone have to ‘well-being freedoms’?

Registration details

 Register now and we will send a zoom link the day before the event.