How do UK Universities support bereaved students? A case study.

Christine Valentine

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This article reports on a small, qualitative, in-house pilot case study on student bereavement support at one UK university, where I work. The study’s aim was to examine how bereaved students are supported to continue their studies and recover their emotional well-being from the perspectives of both previously bereaved students and staff involved in dealing with student bereavement. To this end, I conducted a review of available support as documented on the university’s internal webpages, interviews with bereaved students, and interviews and focus groups with relevant staff. Being part of the social reality I was investigating afforded me access to study participants, some of whom were colleagues I worked with; website information to which an outsider would not be privy; and private spaces on campus to accommodate the interviews and focus groups. This situation fostered a ‘collaborative approach’, placing me both inside and outside the field of study. This twofold perspective was invaluable for identifying key messages that took account of both opportunities and barriers within the university environment for improving support for bereaved students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalBereavement Care
Issue number3
Early online date6 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018


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