Exploring the learning experiences of older mature undergraduate students

Article English OPEN
Pearce, Nick (2017)

Abstract Mature students have been a significant feature of UK higher education for at least 40 years. Categorising all undergraduates who started their degrees over the age of 21, as mature masks significant diversity. Older mature students have been shown to get better degree outcomes than younger mature students and young students. This study explores the learning experience of six older mature students, who started their studies over the age of 40, in order to better understand this under- studied group. The findings suggest that confidence is of critical importance in underpinning the experience of this group, and that increased confidence leads to better time management and more integration into the wider student body. This has implications for lifelong learning, where developing strategies to improve the confidence of these learners can help accelerate their integration into the student body, and may have a positive impact on their retention.
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