European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults
2012 pp. 77-89

Title: Life history approaches to access and retention of nontraditional students in higher education: A cross-European approach
Author: John Field*
Barbara Merrill**
Linden West***
Affiliation: *University of Stirling, Scotland (john.field@stir.ac.uk)
**University of Warwick, England (barbara.merrill@warwick.ac.uk)
***Canterbury Christ Church University, England (linden.west@canterbury.ac.uk)
DOI: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0062
First published: 2012-04-04
Year: 2012
Pages: 77-89
Number of pages: 13
Article number: RELA0062
Language: English
Publisher: Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköping University, Sweden
Publication type: Journal article
Journal: European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults
ISSN: 2000-7426

Abstract

Higher education participation has become an important focus for policy debate as well as for scholarly research. Partly this results from ongoing attempts to expand the higher education system in line with wider policies promoting a 'knowledge economy'; and partly it results from widespread policy concerns for equity and inclusion. In both cases, researchers and policymakers alike have tended to focus on access and entry to the system, with much less attention being paid to the distribution of outcomes from the system. This paper reports on a multi-country study that was aimed at critically understanding the experiences of non-traditional students in higher education, and in particular on the factors that helped promote retention. In doing so, the study straddles the sociology of social reproduction and the psychosociology of learner transformations.

Keywords

Higher education; adult students; retention; Bourdieu; Winnicott

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