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WORK-LIFE BALANCE EXPERIENCES OF INTERNATIONAL PHD STUDENTS IN UK HIGHER EDUCATION

Evwerhamre, F (2020) WORK-LIFE BALANCE EXPERIENCES OF INTERNATIONAL PHD STUDENTS IN UK HIGHER EDUCATION. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This phenomenological study explores the work-life balance experiences of international PhD students studying full-time in UK higher education. This research sought to answer the question: how do international PhD students maintain a balance between academic demands (work) and personal life? It intends to understand how these students manage the demands of their research and personal life while considering the financial needs, language barrier, attrition rate and visa requirements they face during their studies. Drawing on interpretivism, this phenomenological study uses the qualitative method of semi-structured interviews to explore the personal experiences and perceptions of these individuals. The participants were recruited, utilising purposive and snowball sampling. The research sample was from 26 participants who were students at a University in North West England from various fields and different levels of study. The data collected was analysed using the step by step guide of thematic analysis outlined by Braun & Clarke (2006). The findings of the research indicate that the major challenge these students face in their PhD journey is financial constraint. They also experienced challenges such as language barriers and isolation as a result of being distant from their extended family, although most of them had their spouses and children around. Despite the challenges experienced, the desire to complete their PhD led them to develop coping strategies such as prioritising, setting out a plan and working with a schedule. The support from their family and society also helped them to maintain a good work-life balance. Additionally, the support from their supervisors, institutional workshops and seminars as well as their colleagues acted as a form of organisational support, thereby helping most of them to balance their work (study) and family lives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Work-life balance; International PhD students; UK higher education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Doctoral Management Studies (new Sep 19)
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2020 11:14
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2020 11:14
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00013700
Supervisors: Teso, E, Lawless, A and Otaye-Ebede, L
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13700

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