Although family involvement in primary and secondary education has been extensively researched, this is not the case as far as family involvement in higher education is concerned. However, due to a variety of societal changes (among which are the changing role of education and family) there seems to exist an increasing interest in family involvement in higher education with parents getting increasingly involved in their children's university life and education.
Addressing the need to further explore the phenomenon, this research project aims at investigating the perspective of the main actors involved (undergraduate students and their families, and academic and administrative staff,) in an effort to investigate in depth the rationale, nature, and understandings of family involvement in higher education in Cyprus, where this field is currently under-researched.
Results from a previous small-scale, self-funded quantitative study, which involved the administration of a survey questionnaire among undergraduate students at a state and a private university (Theodorou, Lamprianou, & Symeou, 2012) and a small-scale, funded qualitative study in which the related perspectives of faculty and administrative staff were explored (Theodorou & Symeou, 2011), have indicated the existence of the phenomenon of family involvement in both private and public higher institutions albeit with diverse manifestations. Therefore, this research project specifically aims to investigate why, in what ways, as well as how similarly or differently family members of students at a state university, and a private one, become involved in their children's undergraduate university studies.
Factors that may influence this involvement will also be examined. Specifically, the major research questions guiding this endeavour are: (a) what is the nature and the extent of family involvement in undergraduate students' university education? (b) how do processes of family involvement in higher education differ across social class, gender, ethnicity, year/semester of study, academic performance and type of university (state or private)? and (c) how is family involvement perceived by the various actors involved: family, students, faculty, and administrative personnel?