Experiencing Higher Education, Transitions and the Graduate Labour Market:

The Non-Traditional Student Perspective

International Conference

University of Seville (Spain)

7 – 8 September, 2017


 Call for papers (pdf)

Book of Abstracts EMPLOY

Programme International Conference – EMPLOY



The conference offers a unique opportunity to engage with scholars from across Europe and more widely:

  • To learn more about a new trans-European study of non-traditional students in diverse higher education institutions, and the perspectives of university staff and employers
  • To hear and present current research on a vital issues for policy, research and practice
  • To network with other researchers in higher education in Europe and beyond


Learning, retention and employability in higher education are key issues for policy-makers at institutional, national and European levels. They are also areas of interest
for researchers. This European conference provides an opportunity to hear about a new, trans European, interdisciplinary, in-depth study of non-traditional students in six countries; and to present papers, round tables, and symposia on related topics to an international audience of academics, practitioners and policy-makers.
The new study suggests that non-traditional students (both younger and adult) experience inequalities (class, gender, race / ethnicity and age) in relation to employability and transitioning into the graduate labour market. And in some countries this is exacerbated by a current climate of precarity and crisis. Research also indicates that many non-traditional students take longer to obtain a job and that when they do this may not be at a graduate level. The conference will explore how non-traditional students experience learning in higher education and as well as their perspectives, expectations and strategies in relation to employability and future employment. Institutional practices and policies can also impact either positively or negatively as well as employers and companies.
An important objective of this conference, as noted, is to open up dialogue about the findings of the EU funded study of ‘Enhancing the Employability of Non-Traditional Students in HE’ – EMPLOY. It has focused on the experiences of samples of non-traditional students, graduates, university staff and employers in six European countries (Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK). The research has involved the use of longitudinal biographical narrative methods.
This conference will provide an opportunity for researchers, policy-makers and HE staff working in the field to learn more about this distinct study and to engage with its findings, but also to present papers and establish a space to discuss all the issues, from a range of perspectives.


Keynote Speaker: Presentations (pdf)

John Field, University of Stirling, Scotland

John Field is an emeritus professor at the University of Stirling, adjunct professor at Dublin City University, and honorary professor at the University of Warwick. He has been visiting professor at the University of Cologne and the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. He has worked with adult learners since 1978, when he joined the staff at Northern College in Barnsley, and has continued to campaign for adult learning ever since. He chairs Scotland’s Learning Partnership, the national organization representing the interests of learners and providers in Scotland, and is a member of the Wissenschaftliches Beirat of the Deutsche Institut für Erwachsenenbildung. His research interests include social, historical and policy studies of post-compulsory education. His publications include Lifelong Learning and the New Educational Order, Social Capital (now in its third edition), and Working Men’s Bodies: Work camps in Britain 1880-1940; his work has been translated into Italian, Japanese, French, Korean, Persian and German. His most recent book is Universities and Engagement: International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning (edited with B. Schmidt-Hertha and A. Waxenegger).

 Organising Committee

EMPLOY project team
José González Monteagudo
Mª. Teresa Padilla-Carmona
María Vázquez-Granadero
María Tenorio-Rodríguez
Isabel María Muñoz-García
Rafael M. Hernández-Carrera
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros-Moscosio


Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación
University of Seville
C/ Pirotecnia s/n
41013 Seville (Spain)
Faculty website: https://centro.us.es/fccee/