Research Seminar: “Uni Isn’t For You”: The Othering of Disabled University Students

We are delighted to welcome Burgandi Rakoska (University of Leeds) to present this week’s School Research Seminar.


Disabled people have often been situated “on the path of deviance … outside the definitive norm” (Garland Thompson, 1997, pg. 20). This construction has contributed to disabled people being invalidated, Othered, and disposed of, either through the means of correction or elimination (Hughes, 2012).

Concurrently, institutions of higher education have been accused of reproducing social inequalities (Bourdieu, 1986). While more disabled students are enrolling in higher education than ever before, many are experiencing unique exclusionary factors (Brabazon, 2015; Dolmage, 2017).

The purpose of Burgandi’s doctoral study is to analyse these factors that contribute to disabled university students dropping out. Burgandi is conducting a thematic analysis using data from twenty-one interviewed participants across the US and UK, all of whom dropped out of higher education in some capacity. Within this presentation, Burgandi will be presenting one of the themes that has been generated within this study.

About the speaker

Burgandi Rakoska is a fourth-year doctoral researcher at the University of Leeds School of Sociology and Social Policy and Centre for Disability Studies (CDS). Her study focuses on the factors that contribute to disabled university students dropping out. Burgandi is also a PGR Rep, sits on the Disability Services Panel, and was the Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Fall 2022 Introduction to Disability Studies course.

Prior to Leeds, Burgandi completed her Master’s in Higher & Postsecondary Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Fredonia, and her Associate’s in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Jamestown Community College.

How to join

No booking required. The event will be held on Zoom, access the meeting via the University of Leeds account on the Zoom website.

Meeting ID: 871 9967 7280

Passcode: +3BByd