The current literature on ‘sense of belonging’ spans a number of disciplines, with no apparent consensus on definition between these, complicated by the fact that sense of belonging is temporal and context-sensitive (such as during COVID-19). In particular, a closer look at how students define sense of belonging is needed from an up-to-date perspective to help them feel more connected to the faculty/campus and improve their wellbeing and mental health in the ‘new normal’ and ‘next normal’ post-pandemic eras. Therefore, this study explores higher education students’ sense of belonging, a concept that has not been adequately conceptualised, from their perspectives. As these perspectives are subjective, an interpretive approach is required to generate rich meanings. This study has adopted a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesise qualitative studies, which allows for comparison and synthesis of studies into a new interpretation through translations. Interpretive qualitative synthesis resulted in one higher-order concept, four main concepts, and nineteen sub-concepts that conceptualise higher education students’ understanding of sense of belonging to their universities.
Dost, G., & Mazzoli Smith, L. (2023). Understanding higher education students’ sense of belonging: a qualitative meta-ethnographic analysis. Journal of Further and Higher Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877x.2023.2191176