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You are reading: Going-it alone: the university progression of women nursing students who are the first person in their intimate relationship to go to university

Edith Cowan University authors (Lesley Andrew, Leesa Costello, Ken Robinson and Julie Dare) have published the findings from their qualitative longitudinal study with 29 female university undergraduate students entitled:

Going-it alone: the university progression of women nursing students who are the first person in their intimate relationship to go to university.

The authors focus on how existing intimate relationships impact on participants’ university experiences. The study included 29 undergraduate women nursing students, who all began university in a heterosexual intimate relationship, each was interviewed at the commencement of their study and 23 of the 29 completed a second interview in their last semester. Thematic analysis of the resultant 52 interviews revealed those who were the first person in their intimate relationship to go to university encountered a range of difficulties associated with this relationship. Some of these issues included:

  • Partners being less willing to share in the university journey and providing little emotional support 
  • Changes in the women’s perspectives which “tested the dynamics” of the relationship
  • The ensuing tension and conflict impacting on progression within university as well as impacts on relationships.

The article includes recommendations about how to support this group as well as suggestions for future research, published by Higher Education Research and Development. A copy can be downloaded here.

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