Supporting bereaved students in higher education: student perspectives
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Bereavement is a universal experience common within the higher education student population. The present study aimed to understand the experiences and support needs of bereaved Australian university students. In semi-structured interviews, 12 students (10 women, 2 men; M age= 38.13, SD = 15.37) shared their experiences of bereavement while studying. A thematic analysis resulted in three themes: Relationships between study and bereavement, Navigating the university system, and What students need. The findings highlighted varying levels of support accessed and level of need, which were influenced by the circumstances of the student and the loss, mode of study, personal resources, and perceptions of the university system’s ability to help. The findings highlight the need to develop and communicate clear policies and procedures so that bereaved students are supported.
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