Qualitative research is a generic methodology for investigating the naturalness of variables as they are collected from the field. It is from this interaction that we get the answers to a number of questions, which we pose to find a solution to a situation. Mostly we use open ended questions to gather these facts, meaning interviewing is an integral part (Jacob, 1988). Through the synthesis of the collected data, it becomes clear about the meaningfulness and appropriateness of the subject under investigation.
A case study of the student debt in UK can be used to show how well this method can be incorporated to research on the thematic analysis of small projects. Through conducting systematic assessments in interview mode, the researcher is able to develop methods to disseminate information in diverse formats to address the student debt situations. The design of the research should be simple to help assist in the analyzing of the data sets following process of collecting, categorizing and building themes.
With selection of voluntary students who having confirmed debts in their schools, we are able to get their interpretation of what goes around. They give views, which we record to be transcribed later for further analysis. A small number of 40 students are selected to represent the whole group, and an interview is set for them. Sequence open end questions are used, which gives each student a humble platform to express his ideas. Following the 20 minute interview with each one of them, we later settle to analyze the collected data.
We will have to code the data on common themes so that we can have concrete data to present, explaining the ideas on the validity of the debts owed to universities by the students. Of the themes we came up with are:
- Fairness of the loan
- Amount of debt
- Supportive ways from school to settle the debts
With the structured interview questions, we are able to gather information regarding the inner feeling of the student in relation to the selected themes above. The themes are not much explained to the respondent and we want to get their own understanding about the qualitative of the information. It is upon the researcher to interpret the large data categorizing each in the correct theme. A further structure of the data can be performed to get the finest details which expansively tell the current situations that are faced by university students. Using the qualitative techniques, we are able to distil the data to the final stage where figures tell the whole story and are easily understood.
This data got from the respondents will be laid down either inductively or deductively to make sure that the thematic analysis has borne the best result. Deductive mode means from general to specific data and inductive means from specific to general. In either case, the interviewer reads the themes to be able to pull common threads presented across the data. It is after this that a reclassification can be done giving a full picture of what the data means.
It is true that 70% of the undergraduate students leave the UK universities with more than £40,000 in debt, which comes from the higher education loans board and about 25% are offered bursary to help with their school fee paying. The privatizing of universities has sabotaged the funds allocation to public universities and students are forced to seek help from the loans board to pay their fee. This has been explained from the thematic analysis of the data collected from the 40 interviewed students who had their general information qualitatively analyzed. Most of the students felt it was unfair that they had to leave the school already owing such big debts to pay yet they are not guaranteed to get jobs.
From this report, it is now possible to try challenging the vice-chancellors on their role about minimizing the debt and find better ways to fund the students during their days in the colleges. Presenting these data, it is no doubt that action will have to be taken upon this problem. The figures are convincing and they have concrete background and not just generalization. A meeting will have to be called to delegate about this and where possible seek alternative ways of running the education system without over burdening the students.
Currently, this type of research is being sought on many firms especially small scale to be able to analyze on the performance and help to improve on their ways of doing the works. They will seek to get the analyses upon those involved directly in the group and have the information which needs to be distilled. No specific data needs to be known but the genuine general one from the respondent is the core of the research.
The validly of qualitative research is through carrying out case studies upon which the researcher needs to analyze the variables in relation to the subject (Polit & Hungler, 1983). This will seek to understand the particulars and the complexity and not the generalizations. It also helps the researcher be keen to record correctly and include the data in the final report making sure to seek feedback and striking a balance between the data and the relevance of the problem.