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Mature-age men's experiences of Higher Education: Australia and England compared. A literature review

Laming, M.M., Martyn-Lynch, P. and Morris, A. (2016) Mature-age men's experiences of Higher Education: Australia and England compared. A literature review. Society for Research into Higher Education



This literature review was prepared in response to a growing awareness that there is a significant gap in the existing literature on transition to university and university experience of mature-age male undergraduates. Interest in the experiences of students making the transition into Higher Education has been prompted in part by the rapid expansion of the sector. Governments in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, and most developed nations, have been intent on transforming higher education from an elite to a universal system in which more than 50% of potential applicants are enrolled in a degree in the belief that increasing the number of graduates will increase economic productivity and prosperity (Trow, 2006). Australia and the UK have both set ambitious targets. In Australia the Review of Australian Higher Education [Bradley review] set a target of 40% of young people (especially from low-SES backgrounds) to attain a minimum of a bachelor-level qualification by 2020 (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent & Scales, 2008), while in England it was intended that by 2010 50% of 18-30-year-olds would have some experience of studying courses offered by higher education institutions (Higher Education Funding Council [HEFCE], 2003). The twin and, to some extent competing, aims of increasing opportunities to participate in higher education (as underpinned by values around social justice) and the importance ascribed to higher education as contributing to a nation’s knowledge economy (signifying a more utilitarian and human capital approach) have been key drivers in terms of the access and widening participation policy agenda in both countries.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Series Name: Project Report. Society for Research in Higher Education
Publisher: Society for Research into Higher Education
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