Conference Papers

Working with Non-Traditional students to determine what value they gain (and bring) through study at Higher Education

The literature concerning education presumes that practitioners, managers and policy makers are the experts on the delivery and the experiences gained from participation in Higher Education. This ignores the valuable viewpoint students bring, and who will have more expertise than the individuals directly experiencing the process? This talk will, (with the help of students), address what they feel they gain from studying a Foundation Year course, the value they experience, and also what they bring to the programme. Although it is a commonly held view that Foundation Year students lack the confidence and the academic skills usually held by ‘typical’ university students, anecdotal evidence would contradict this view. Many Foundation Year students have held challenging jobs or positions of responsibility prior to joining the course or are mature students with the experience that brings. This means they are organised, critical thinkers with interesting and insightful suggestions on how the course is organised and the subject matter being studied. Through the use of focus groups with a variety of Foundation Year students in various disciplines, the value they have experienced and brought will be examined. This talk will summarise these findings, and demonstrate how studying at Higher Education can be a two-way learning process, with the institution benefiting in addition to the gains made by students.

Clifford, M. (2019) 'Working with Non-Traditional students to determine what value they gain (and bring) through study at Higher Education', paper presented to The 15th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 27–28 June, viewed 21 January 2020, <https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=10140>