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Breaking the barriers: supporting and engaging mature age first-in-family university learners and their families

Grant


Scheme


  • Seed Projects

Abstract


  • This project will firstly explore experiences of returning to education for first-in-family learners in order to articulate a framework for supporting both students and their families. This exploration will be contextualised by an analysis of how the tertiary participation of a second chance learner impacts upon the educational trajectories of family members.The proposed research will provide a more nuanced understanding of the university experience for older, first-in-family students. These students often have family commitments and so the project will explore the impacts of returning to education for both the students and their family members. The study is significant because mature age/firstin-family students are often at risk of attrition and they also represent a growing student cohort; hence higher education institutions need to be actively engaging with this group to improve retention and explore the possibilities for intergenerational educational participation. This project builds upon a pilot study conducted at University of Wollongong and seeks to extend this preliminary study to University of Newcastle and Open Universities Australia. The project is innovative, as it not only focuses on the students' experiences but also, more significantly, their families in order to better conceptualise family discourses around how knowledge and learning are negotiated.

Sponsor Award Id


  • SD13-3196

Local Award Id


  • 115743

Scheme


  • Seed Projects

Abstract


  • This project will firstly explore experiences of returning to education for first-in-family learners in order to articulate a framework for supporting both students and their families. This exploration will be contextualised by an analysis of how the tertiary participation of a second chance learner impacts upon the educational trajectories of family members.The proposed research will provide a more nuanced understanding of the university experience for older, first-in-family students. These students often have family commitments and so the project will explore the impacts of returning to education for both the students and their family members. The study is significant because mature age/firstin-family students are often at risk of attrition and they also represent a growing student cohort; hence higher education institutions need to be actively engaging with this group to improve retention and explore the possibilities for intergenerational educational participation. This project builds upon a pilot study conducted at University of Wollongong and seeks to extend this preliminary study to University of Newcastle and Open Universities Australia. The project is innovative, as it not only focuses on the students' experiences but also, more significantly, their families in order to better conceptualise family discourses around how knowledge and learning are negotiated.

Sponsor Award Id


  • SD13-3196

Local Award Id


  • 115743