Mature Women Students’ Experiences of Social and Academic Support in Higher Education: A Systematic Review

Christine Adu-Yeboah


In the Widening Participation in Higher Education agenda, students’ retention and success should be a matter of concern, since high students’ attrition can negatively affect the reputation of institutions. Mature women students’ juggling roles and academic study place them at a high risk of dropping out or successful completion. Using the guidelines for systematic reviews formulated by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre), this review set out to examine institution-based support systems that are available to mature women students and their experiences of the support systems. It found that very few studies focus on women only. In the studies that included mature women or focused on them, support from friends, tutors and administrators emerged crucial in their stories of progression and successful completion, though this was not systematically administered. Overall, institution-based support was not an important source of support, as in most cases, students had no knowledge about it. The paper recommends the provision and systematic administration of institution-based support for mature women students and regular evaluation of such a system.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Christine Adu-Yeboah

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Journal of Education and Training      ISSN 2330-9709

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