This paper presents evidence on the transitions of UK domiciled mature students (those aged over 25 on entry) into full-time and part-time postgraduate taught study.
The study has been stimulated by four key policy challenges facing postgraduate study:
1. concerns around a recent fall in demand for postgraduate taught study, particularly among part-time and mature individuals;
2. the need to improve the supply of highly skilled individuals to support economic prosperity and growth, fill skills gaps and align with economic priorities;
3. the need to address perceived market failures particularly in relation to access to finance for postgraduate study; and
4. concerns about the accessibility of postgraduate study to individuals from all backgrounds, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
The research aimed to understand:
· their profile and participation;
· motivations to study;
· pre-entry activities (in the years between undergraduate study and postgraduate entry)
· sources of funding; and
· barriers and challenges faced in taking up study at this level.