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Lifelong learning : a biographical study of the student experience in higher education

Lifelong learning : a biographical study of the student experience in higher education
Lifelong learning : a biographical study of the student experience in higher education

This biographical study explores the experiences of adult learners who undertake programmes of higher education.  The purpose of the study was to  uncover the extent to which higher education is responding to the recent policy focus on lifelong learning by meeting learners’ needs, and what if any, changes are needed to help adults to continue as lifelong learners.  The proposition at the centre of my thesis is that the provision of lifelong learning is problematic for higher education institutions.  My study analyses the experiences of a group of adult learners by drawing on a wide spectrum of literature on the policy context for higher education, adult motivation and learning processes, and previous studies of the student experience.

The study reveals that adult learners are drawn to higher education by a range of motives, most significantly for intrinsic and personal benefits rather than in response to economic and labour market changes.  They have differing needs and expectations to young students, and traditional notions of the nature of the student experience do not apply.  In a number of respects, the higher education experience presents difficulties for adult learners and changes to address their needs are identified in the areas of admissions and entry to higher education, teaching and learning, learning support, and assessment and feedback.  Recommendations to assist higher education to address the lifelong learning agenda are made at policy and sector level and at the level of the institution and department.

University of Southampton
Crosthwaite, Elaine Ann
Crosthwaite, Elaine Ann

Crosthwaite, Elaine Ann (2003) Lifelong learning : a biographical study of the student experience in higher education. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This biographical study explores the experiences of adult learners who undertake programmes of higher education.  The purpose of the study was to  uncover the extent to which higher education is responding to the recent policy focus on lifelong learning by meeting learners’ needs, and what if any, changes are needed to help adults to continue as lifelong learners.  The proposition at the centre of my thesis is that the provision of lifelong learning is problematic for higher education institutions.  My study analyses the experiences of a group of adult learners by drawing on a wide spectrum of literature on the policy context for higher education, adult motivation and learning processes, and previous studies of the student experience.

The study reveals that adult learners are drawn to higher education by a range of motives, most significantly for intrinsic and personal benefits rather than in response to economic and labour market changes.  They have differing needs and expectations to young students, and traditional notions of the nature of the student experience do not apply.  In a number of respects, the higher education experience presents difficulties for adult learners and changes to address their needs are identified in the areas of admissions and entry to higher education, teaching and learning, learning support, and assessment and feedback.  Recommendations to assist higher education to address the lifelong learning agenda are made at policy and sector level and at the level of the institution and department.

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Published date: 2003

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 465340
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/465340
PURE UUID: 5fe300ae-5361-4736-b1b9-39b5dfa984c5

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 00:38
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 04:57

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Contributors

Author: Elaine Ann Crosthwaite

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