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ERIC Number: EJ1076568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0307-5079
Determined to Stay or Determined to Leave? A Tale of Learner Identities, Biographies and Adult Students in Higher Education
Merrill, Barbara
Studies in Higher Education, v40 n10 p1859-1871 2015
This article examines the meaning and experience of retention and withdrawal in higher education from the perspective and voices of non-traditional adult students. It draws on UK biographical data from a European study on access, retention and withdrawal. Withdrawal is perceived negatively by higher education institutions and policymakers as it has an economic cost and reflects on the efficiency of an institution and the student who leaves is viewed as a failure. This article challenges the "traditional" view and argues that non-completion is not always a negative act as many of the students who left in this study talked about the benefits they had gained in terms of learning, identity and the development of the self. Two in-depth biographical case studies are outlined: one student who completes and one who leaves. Both employed their agency and determination in ways which were positive to them but different.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A