Dr Sarah O’Shea


“Our understanding about how this student group navigate and engage in higher education remains limited and we fear they may be slipping through the cracks.”

(O’Shea, 2015)

Part of this Fellowship is to collate the experiences and reflections of practitioners across the country, recognising the importance of input from individuals working with students who come from first-in-family backgrounds. This post is really an open forum for you to contribute your considered insights in relation to the following questions along with other relevant topics:

  1. What might it be like from the family’s perspective when no-one has been to university before, and then a close family member starts? What issues might this raise? What conversations might take place? What impact might this have on family relationships?
  2. How might we engage with the family of learners in an effective and strategic way?
  3. What do you see as the most significant obstacles to students who are first in their families to come to university?
  4. In your contact with this student cohort, what are the commonalities of narratives that you have encountered?
  5. How do these preliminary findings reflect your institutional context and the experiences of first-in-family students at your institutions?


Building Knowledge

If you are interested in participating in a short interview about your experiences (these will be de-identified), please contact me directly, saraho@uow.edu.au and I will forward details of the study and the participant information sheet.

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