Two qualitative research projects examined the impact of university
study on two cohorts of mature-age students at a regional university
in Australia. All the students interviewed had entered university
via non-traditional pathways and had faced significant hurdles in
gaining university entrance and continuing with their studies. The
influence of gender on their experiences of managing home, family
and work responsibilities in combination with their responsibilities
as students is examined. Issues such as lack of time and money,
self-sacrifice and guilt emerged strongly from the stories of these
students as they struggled to manage their multiple responsibilities.
The gendered nature of these struggles is explored.