This thesis contains an account of research into the experiences of
a group of women who returned to education as mature undergraduate
students at a university in the Midlands.
The aim of the research was to discover why such women failed to
fulfil their academic potential in the conventional system and their
motives for returning to education at a later stage.
The study traces their educational histories from initial schooling,
through re-entry to education as adults, to their admission to
university as mature undergraduate students. A further group of
women at various stages of re-entry are identified and described.
Their histories are compared with those of the undergraduate sample.
The empirical study is set in the context of a detailed discussion
of gender acquisition and the experiences, expectations and
attainments of girls at school. Two further issues of social class
and family circum tances are explored. The current developments
within adult education, both policies and practices, are discussed.
Finally, the various educational options available to adults who
wish*to continue their education are detailed.
The study concludes with an analysis of the re-entry points and
educational opportunities available to women and stresses the need
for relevant information and advice to be made more readily
An appendix contains a full report of a research project carried out
by the author, while compiling a directory of the educational and
training opportunities available to women in England and Wales.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.