Transition into undergraduate and postgraduate study for mature students FT/PT

Students transitioning to University who are mature will have specific needs, requirements and expectations that differ from the more conventional school leaver.

Their pre-university experiences of both their prior learning, and potentially the workplace, will determine the kinds of issues that need to be recognised in ensuring as smooth a transition as possible to University; including successful retention. The individual circumstances of mature students are less homogenous than their 18 year old campus-based counterparts. Such students may, for example,

  • have been out of the formal education system for a prolonged period, possibly reintroduced through an Access course
  • have significant work experience
  • be currently in employment
  • commute from their home (often considerable distances) to attend University
  • have other responsibilities, such as child care.

Some of these factors preclude full engagement with University life as anticipated and experienced by a school leaver. Therefore, a particular understanding of this category of student is paramount in supporting their transition and induction to ensure a successful and enjoyable academic experience.

The transition into undergraduate and postgraduate study for mature students (full and part time) good practice guide provides student perspectives and highlights good practice to aid schools in evaluation and refresh of their current transitional support programme.