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Theme: Transition and Adjustment

Approbation and Apprehension Among Mature Students Coping with the first year of tertiary Business Study

Lynne Eagle, Massey University at Albany
Dick McDonald, Manukau Institute of Technology
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This paper reports on the second phase of a multi-part study of the perceptions of mature students regarding their first year of tertiary study. The literature suggests that the needs of this group have gone unrecognised until relatively recently and that the failure of tertiary institutions to recognise, and provide for these needs, has led to substantially higher withdrawal rates for mature students compared to younger groups. Students' responses to an extensive questionnaire regarding satisfaction with enrolment, support services and perceptions of initial lectures are analysed along with pressures which led nearly one third of this cohort to consider withdrawing from their studies. Also analysed are the motivational factors which enabled the majority to persevere. The findings provide the foundations for strategies to improving student's initial study experiences. It is in every institution's interests to assist all students to adjust quickly and comfortably to tertiary study.

Full Paper in MS Word

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