Challenges and strategies of combining work and education with the parenthood among the students and graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Cultural Studies, Philology and Sociology) at the SWPS University.

Acronym: EDUPRO (EDUcation, Profession, Parenthood)

The Research Problem

The continuation of the University studies after the Educational Boom, that took place in Poland between 1994 and 2008, has become a complex social phenomenon, which requires detailed analysis. Some characteristics and paths of the obtaining a university diploma are well described in the studies on the motivating factors, a satisfaction of the university and faculty choice, as well as the fate of the graduates and their transition from the education to the labour market.

Less research, however, has been done on the non-standard and non-traditional higher educational paths. The last is determined by the part-time and full-time students at the non-public universities and those, who combine studies with other social roles and functions. A particular attention should be paid to the ones, who simultaneously perform in two spheres, such as studies and work, or studies and parenthood.

A present research expands the previous study, which concerned the combining studies with work and the transition paths of the graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University SWPS to the labour market (Sarnowska et al. 2016). Additionally, the purpose of the research is to study and analyze the quandaries of the combining studies with a family live (and often with work at the same time) among the students of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) (Cultural studies, Philology, Sociology) at the SWPS University. A greater attention is addressed to process of continuing higher education during the transition to the adulthood and traditions, is making a family or similar decisions.

The aim of the project

The main aim of the research is to study the ways the students of the FASS at the University of SWPS combine their education with a family life. The specific aims are:

  1. to continue the qualitative monitoring of social and professional fate of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, as a complementary qualitative study of the university graduates’ fate in Poland, conducted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and based on the Social Insurance Institution data.
  2. to study and analysis of the relation of the decisions to study and make a family (have children). Moreover, examine the influence of having or planning children on taking the decisions, such as:
    1. time of beginning the studies
    2. faculty and study mode choice
    3. University choice (SWPS University).
  3. to study the relations between the social functions of a student and a parent (conflict of the roles, tenses within a role). Also to study the characteristics, which may have an influence on the strategies and motivation of the students/parents. Age, sex, student’s position on the labour market, place of residence and family situation (eg. the role of the kinship – motivation, support, etc.) are the most important variables in this study.
  4. to study the paths/characteristics of the parent/student learning process on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and to compare them to the results of the previous research (students and graduates, who combine education with work). The important issues in the project are:
    1. study and analyze the parent/student career paths both during a study choice and a learning process.
    2. students’ opinions on the holding a university diploma in the labour market.
  5. to specify the greatest challenges of the students’ parenthood and to identify the needs of the parents/students FASS in terms of the institutional and structural support.
  6. to present the experience of the individuals, who study, work and bring up their children, that depicts the complicated educational (the requirement of holding a university diploma), professional (the requirement of having an experience) and family (needs to have a family) among the youth in the second decade of the XXI century.