Miss Essay

1765 Words8 Pages
Higher education matters because it transforms the lives of individuals (Browne 2010) but there are many factors which prevent mature students in pursuing it. The emphasis on developing the national skills base has been reinforced in recent government policy documents such as the Leitch Review (2006), which was commissioned by Gordon Brown, to layout the optimal skills mix by 2020 to maximise the growth of the economy. As a mature adult considering participating in HE there are many factors that can prevent an individual from committing to this such as existing obligations, financial implications and personal attitude/behaviour all of which have a direct bearing on the decision whether the pursuit of HE is worth the risks associated with it. As many prospective mature students already have an established pattern of lifestyle, which often includes children and/or a partner, the ability to be able to interject an additional responsibility such as HE can sometimes be seen as a challenge too far and not considered possible. Many students find that the needs of dependants and the home compete with the demands of study as the availability of privacy, time, energy and resources are in short supply for homemakers and these factors are strong influencers when deciding whether to pursue HE. Women are more likely to see time and energy as a reason not to pursue HE although, in modern society, there are more women in the labour market, women are, in many cases, still seen as being responsible for the home which means they already have one job and in many cases, an additional paid job as well. Fuller and Paton (2007) note that social and personal conditions can act as either a catalyst or an inhibitor when considering whether to participate in HE as a mature student. These issues are commonly known as the ‘push and pull’ influence as it’s the prospect of being torn between

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