Fri 25th May, 2012
Nearly half the students at the University of Bedfordshire are aged over 21 years when they start their course.
That’s higher than the national average, where one in three are classed as ‘mature’, according to a report Never Too Late to Learn, published this week by University think tank million+ and the National Union of Students.
“The University of Bedfordshire is leading the field in this regard,” said Vice Chancellor Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL, who attended the launch of the report at the House of Commons, together with a number of Bedfordshire staff, students and graduates.
“We are very proud of the achievements of our mature students, who work hard for their degrees, often whilst coping with family and job commitments.”
The report states mature students are more likely to struggle financially while studying and are less likely to complete their studies, due to financial pressures and other commitments such as work or family life.
The report also states that mature students should be recognised, valued and celebrated and more should be done to encourage them to study and support them throughout their studies.
Graham Evans MP hosted the launch event, alongside Government spokesperson in the Lords for Higher Education, Baroness Verma, Shadow Minister for Universities Shabana Mahmood and President of the National Union of Students, Liam Burns.
Baroness Verma said: “I wasn't allowed to go to university at 18. So, by the time I did go, I was juggling a family, a business and education. It transformed my life.”
And University of East London Vice Chancellor, Professor Patrick McGhee, who took over from Professor Ebdon as Chair of million+ earlier this year, added: “We are here to celebrate the successes of our mature students, whose extraordinary life stories are an inspiration to others.”