Women returners : a study of mature undergraduates and their educational histories
This thesis contains an account of research into the experiences of a group of women who returned to education as mature undergraduate students at a university in the Midlands. The aim of the research was to discover why such women failed to fulfil their academic potential in the conventional system and their motives for returning to education at a later stage. The study traces their educational histories from initial schooling, through re-entry to education as adults, to their admission to university as mature undergraduate students. A further group of women at various stages of re-entry are identified and described. Their histories are compared with those of the undergraduate sample. The empirical study is set in the context of a detailed discussion of gender acquisition and the experiences, expectations and attainments of girls at school. Two further issues of social class and family circum tances are explored. The current developments within adult education, both policies and practices, are discussed. Finally, the various educational options available to adults who wish*to continue their education are detailed. The study concludes with an analysis of the re-entry points and educational opportunities available to women and stresses the need for relevant information and advice to be made more readily available. An appendix contains a full report of a research project carried out by the author, while compiling a directory of the educational and training opportunities available to women in England and Wales.