This paper reports on a large qualitative study with commuter students in England. Research on student success identifies the importance of engagement in academic and non-academic aspects of the student experience; in this paper student engagement is segmented into academic, enhancement and social spheres. Commuter students, who often incorporate a range of equity characteristics, aim to achieve good degree and employment outcomes, and prioritise academic engagement. But commuting tempers their face-to-face academic engagement as they make trade-offs between the costs of travelling and the value of the academic encounter. Engagement in enhancement and social activities is limited and is seen by many as an extraneous aspect of the higher education experience. This lack of engagement can be understood through the employment of notions of economic, cultural and social capital, and these insights inform the recommendations for higher education providers to improve the engagement and outcomes of non-traditional students in higher education.
- Commuter Engagement Success Continuation Graduate employment Capital