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Gabriella Pusztai

The Effects of Institutional Social Capital on Students’ Success in Higher Education

Keywords: higher education; non-traditional students; social capital; student success; institutional effect; disadvantaged region


Educational researchers have highlighted that schools can have some institutional characteristics in compulsory education (stable relationships in school community, mutual trust of actors and expanded faculty role models) that can serve as resources of social capital. Recent changes in higher education and increasing diversity in student population have turned scientific interest towards students and communities. Tinto and his colleagues advocated the statement that students’ institutional integration and institutional social context attributes have a strong effect on student achievement in higher education as well. Our question was whether students’ integration into higher education institutional and external communities and associations during the university years can contribute to the improvement of higher education outcomes also in a East Central European region where the rate of graduated population is lower than the EU average and the majority of students’ parents had no experience with higher education. We analysed the TERD data of full time students (The Impact of Tertiary Education on Regional Development 2008-2011). When comparing explanatory variables we found it noteworthy that it was the informal side of intergenerational relationships that proved to be very efficient, whereas the most prominent areas of intragenerational relationships were those based on the expansion of knowledge and attachment to a voluntary community.

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