Chapter 9 Adults’ Experiences of Returning to and Succeeding in Higher Education

Three Case Studies

In: Adults in the Academy: Voices of Lifelong Learners
Author: Keith Burn

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Abstract

This chapter draws on literature that relates to disadvantaged groups and their access to higher education (HE). It examines the lifelong learning and widening participation (WP) agenda in the UK, through the lived reality of three adult learners as they reflect on their journeys to and through, HE. In London, where diversity is the norm, these accounts are not extraordinary. Their voices highlight the personal values that they attach to education whilst they discuss the challenges of situational, dispositional, institutional and financial constraints they and many others in similar situations face, in their endeavour to improve their academic, economic and social situation. It is hoped that this provides further insight into the continuum of challenges faced by so many and too often under-reported.

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