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ERIC Number: EJ973637
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1394
Launching a Career or Reflecting on Life? Reasons, Issues and Outcomes for Candidates Undertaking PhD Studies Mid-Career or after Retirement Compared to the Traditional Early Career Pathway
Stehlik, Tom
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v51 spec iss p150-169 Dec 2011
The Commonwealth government provides fee exemption for any Australian who undertakes a PhD. This policy is presumably based on the "clever country" assumption that an educated population will develop and contribute to social and economic capital. Enrolment numbers therefore continue to increase, and a PhD is no longer an elite qualification. In addition, the characteristics and demographics of PhD students are changing. In the School of Education, University of South Australia, a significant number of PhD students are not early career researchers or recent honours graduates, but mid-to-late-career education practitioners and retirees, and the majority are women. These mature-age and third-age candidates are undertaking doctoral research not to launch their career, but in most cases to reflect on it, with many experiencing transformative learning in the process. In this paper I will explore why people undertake a PhD later in life, what the learning process is like for them, what the outcomes are, and the benefits to society. (Contains 1 figure.)
Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia