An investigation into mature students' experiences
Our project investigated the experiences of mature students at NTU and how the institution can better support these individuals with specific regard to non-continuation.
The aim of this project was to increase NTU’s understanding of patterns of non-continuation of mature students and investigate mature students’ experiences and to identify practices from the literature and other Higher Education Institutions that might be useful to consider at NTU.
What it was
Students were recruited for participation via campus-wide advertising and in total 24 mature students were interviewed in a semi-structured schedule. Student interest in participation in this project was high—over 200 mature students expressed an interest in being interviewed—so a supplementary online questionnaire was developed to ensure that all interested students had the opportunity to contribute to the study should they wish, of which 50 students responded.
In the interviews attendees were asked to annotate maps of their home campus in response to their use of NTU spaces and facilities and highlight their ‘base campus’ which was most frequently used by them.
Non-continuation rates are higher amongst mature undergraduates than their younger counterparts and retention of mature students is an ongoing, sector-wide concern in the UK. At Nottingham Trent University (NTU), non-continuation of mature students is a key component within the institutional Access and Participation Plan (APP).