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ERIC Number: EJ1062322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0266-0830
Part-Time Higher Education in English Colleges: Adult Identities in Diminishing Spaces
Esmond, Bill
Studies in the Education of Adults, v47 n1 p21-34 Spr 2015
Adult participation in higher education has frequently entailed mature students studying part time in lower-ranked institutions. In England, higher education policies have increasingly emphasised higher education provision in vocational further education colleges, settings which have extensive adult traditions but which mainly teach employment-based skills and are widely regarded as "outside" higher education. This paper interrogates the significance of these dimensions of college higher education, through a qualitative study of identity formation by adult part-time students. Their accounts, developed through individual interviews and focus groups, emphasised the significance of work to their interpretations of higher education participation: these are compared here to a range of conceptualisations of identity that have been applied in relation to work organisations. This analysis indicates some of the ways in which pathways which adults may interpret as meaningful in terms of work-related identities may correspondingly be constrained by a narrow discourse of work-based skills and credentials.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)