A catalyst for change : a qualitative study on women returning to 3rd level education in midlife

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Gilmore, Karen
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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Over the last three decades there has been a worldwide increase in the number of mature students returning to education and women represent a high proportion of that increase. (Britton and Baxter, 1999). The aim of the current study focuses on women in midlife entering college to study for a third level qualification and investigates how women experience this transition. Within this investigation there is a focus on the motivation of female students in midlife to enrol in an undergraduate course and these women’s subjective perceptions of the benefits to be gained from this decision at this stage of the life cycle.