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Pathways to Success in Higher Education

Rethinking the Social Capital Theory in the Light of Institutional Diversity


Gabriella Pusztai

Students are influenced by their peer networks instead of the invisible hand of meritocracy. This statement by David Riesman is still true today. The volume analyses how students make use of social connections and the expanding opportunities offered by contemporary tertiary education. The results show that the resources provided by higher education institutions may be termed social capital, adding a new dimension to literature related to students and the institutional environment.
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Testing a complex indicator of student success



Until recently, the validity of the ranking lists of higher education institutions based on quality indicators were not questioned, but some new international research programmes have found that the quality lists of colleges and universities, and even the students’ concepts of success are constructions that do not rest on unquestionable and objective foundations. While conducting research into the origins of and alternatives to these constructions, we had to come to terms with the idea that researchers’ concepts regarding success in higher education are rooted in individual or social (e. g. disciplinary or regional) value preferences, previous theoretical assumptions, epistemological orientations, and beliefs in various measurement methods and schools of thinking. The “university map” research projects, showing the wide variety of institutions with different missions encouraged us to deal with the idea of students’ outcomes. A number of concepts, ideas and expressions are used very frequently, although they do not rest on any scholarly or scientific consensus. We therefore intended to identify some of the factors that help students in achieving outstanding results in the course of their studies.

Competing Quality Concepts in Higher Education

In the multi-cycle course system which was created as a response to the expansion of higher education, a comprehensive model appears to have emerged at the lower levels (Szemerszki 2013, Veroszta 2013). In this way, there is a growing sense of responsibility in higher education in terms of the social integration of students (Hrubos 2009, Veroszta 2010)...

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