“The lived experiences of young people raised by single parents, and their aspirations to attend, access and uptake of higher education”
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The aim of this research is to explore the impact that having a single parent may have on student’s aspirations to attend, access and uptake of higher education. This is achieved through the application of phenomenology (Neubauer et al., 2019), which allows for the lived experiences of students to be explored and understood in depth. In particular, this research seeks to investigate whether students who have single parents are inspired by them, and if having a lone parent influences their academic aspirations. This is achieved through the use of semi-structured interviews carried out with students of Queen Margaret University who each have a single parent. Careful thematic analysis of the data revealed three distinct themes: financial struggles, stigma attached to single parenthood, and parents as a source of inspiration.