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Widening participation among adults with a work-life background: A study of a higher education access initiative
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Vuxenpedagogik och folkbildning)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1194-9708
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, a relatively high number of students have a background in work life before entering higher education. Measures have also been taken to widen admission and participation among adults with work-life experience, through new definitions of eligibility as well as new selection instruments. The starting point of this paper is one central aspect, eligibility, and particularly the experiences of applicants who were employing the 25:4 scheme, a measure for eligibility that was introduced to widen access to higher education in the 1970s. The scheme meant that an age of 25 and 4 years work experience were main criteria in an alternative track for basic eligibility. The aim of this paper is to analyse and discuss choices and trajectories in relation to higher education among 25:4 applicants, and their experiences of factors that could influence their choices. Thus, the study concerns theories on adults’ participation in education, which are related to a case from the practice of Swedish higher education.

 The analysis identifies patterns of application, admittance, participation, completion of studies, and drop-out, in this group. Particularly, applicants’ experiences of choice and drop-out are focused upon. For example, it is shown that 88 % were admitted to their first-hand choice, which means that eligibility, rather than the selection process, was central for these applicants to be admitted. Further, it is shown how the importance of a course is influenced by its value in terms of work-life opportunities, but also how individual knowledge interest, and family situation, influence the choices of the applicants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
access, 25:4 scheme, higher education, widening admission, work-life experience
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102170OAI: diva2:668795
ESREA 2013 European Research Conference of the network of Access, Learning Careers and Identities, 28 – 30 November, 2013, Linköping University, Sweden
Vuxnas val att studera
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-20

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Andersson, Per
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Education and Adult LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences

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