Are you over 21 and thinking of studying a new subject at university? As a mature student or adult learner, you’ll be in good company; according to this briefing paper over one in three (36%) of all undergraduate entrants were mature students in 2018/19, a total of 237,000 people.
Figures from UCAS show that just over a half of mature students are aged between 21 and 24, 38 percent between 25 and 39, and 10 percent over 40 when they commence their courses. Yet numbers of mature students entering higher education are on a downward trajectory, according to the Office for Students. From 2010-11 to 2018-19 there was 52, 545 fewer students, a 22 per cent drop. This has been driven by a decrease in part-time study, where entrant numbers decreased by 52 percent over the same period.
It is clear that the UK needs more mature students, but why should you choose to study later in life? Here are 7 good reasons:
As a mature student, you will bring work experience and learning to your studies that your younger and lesser experienced college leavers will not have. This experience enriches your learning and enables you to relate academic theory and concepts to the real world.
With the extra life experience and wisdom, you are likely to approach and overcome problems more easily, and this can help contribute to greater academic success. Ultimately this means the chances are higher that you will come out with a better degree, according to the Office for Students’ website. In 2018-19, 61.3 percent of mature part-time students achieved a 1st or a 2.1 compared to only 44.4 percent of young part-time students.
Your rich and unique life experiences can offer up interesting perspectives to younger students. And in return they will bring you fresh new perspectives too.
Chances are, if you have had to juggle numerous responsibilities with family and work, you’re equipped with skills in planning and organisation, meaning you’re ready to plan and make time for your studies.
If you are tired of the job or profession you have been slogging away in for the last decade or four, then studying could offer a bridge to an exciting new career. And one that is more aligned with your passions.
Compared to your younger peers, you are likely to have considerable work experience, meaning you are job ready, and more likely to secure the perfect role, or promotion, when you graduate.
Whatever your motivation for choosing to study, the choice to learn a new subject is a great one. Check out the distance learning IGCSE and A level courses we have available here at Oxford Open Learning.
Vicky Chilton is