It's not just about the degree: a study of the characteristics, and experiences of mature undergraduate students at Lincoln University
This thesis focuses on the characteristics and experiences of mature-aged undergraduate students enrolled in a three-year undergraduate degree. It is a study that while in many ways reports findings congruent with previous studies has also identified a mature student who is tenacious and appears better able to cope with the competing demands of the home and university environments than their predecessors. A mixed methodology was used in this thesis. A census survey was conducted with domestic undergraduate students enrolled at Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand in 2002. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with twenty student-parents who have at least one child under the age of fourteen. Findings from the survey suggest that there has perhaps been a change in the reported experience mature students enrolled in study. While it is not known whether this is a phenomenon that is unique to the university environment, or whether it is likely to be found across the tertiary sector, the findings from this research support those of Dianne Barratt (2001) when she argued that mature students appear better able to cope with the demands of the home and university. A five-point typology, which classifies mature students in terms of situational variables, was developed from the findings of this research. Mature students enter the university environment for a number of reasons, most of which are dictated by their past experiences. Whatever the reason for their enrolment whether vocational or for personal development reasons, the university experience is about preparing for the future and the experience while enrolled in study is about more than just the degree.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsstudent experience; student characteristics; mature students; undergraduate students; Lincoln University
Access RightsDigital thesis can be viewed by current staff and students of Lincoln University only. Print copy available for reading in Lincoln University Library. May be available through inter-library loan.
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