This study investigates the experiences of mature students across three higher education institutions in the UK. The issues arising are of relevance to academics who are involved in widening participation and in evaluating support in their own programmes for the diversity of students. The sample includes mature students from programmes in Health, where mature students form a majority, and in Business, where mature students formed a minority. Focus groups were used to gain access to student perspectives on expectations, motivations, sacrifices, transitions, induction, programmes and assessment. The findings include misleading information that did not acknowledge the particular concerns and needs of mature students, induction processes that were not experienced as inclusive by mature students, and varying experiences of support but overall the institutional context was significant.
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