University is Not Just for Young People

Pollard E | Working Paper WP16 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jul 2008

What do adults think of Higher Education (HE)? Is it relevant to them and their careers? Do they aspire to HE? Are they aware of HE and the options available? And could, and indeed should, they be encouraged to consider HE?

To answer these questions, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills commissioned IES to undertake an exploratory piece of research to help them to:

  1. better understand adults' perceptions of and orientations to HE, and
  2. help them find ways to engage and motivate learning, essentially to encourage greater participation in HE.

This paper outlines the research approach, the inherent challenges, and the research findings.

This paper was prepared for the Participation Research Group, University of Southampton.