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PhD Project: Experiencing Higher Education: Exploring the Dark Side of Being a Student


The aim of the PhD project is to explore the ways in which students in higher education do not meet the characteristics of the ideal student, focusing on experiences such as disengagement, misunderstanding, resignation, indifference or boredom. Further, the project will explore the non-linear, obscure, creative and random aspects of the experience of being a student – what you might conceptualize as Darkness.

This will be investigated through a series of ethnographic studies, which seek to elucidate the voice of the students and their experiences.


The project seeks to formulate values and virtues for designing education which take into account the murky side of being a student. This has the potential to enrich the ongoing debate on the quality of the commodified educational system as well as to enable educational designers to gain a better understanding of central potentials and pitfalls when it comes to designing educational activities that might encompass, support and sustain the engagement of the non-ideal student.


February 2014 - April 2017.