As a minority group on university campuses, the unique needs of mature students can be easily overlooked. It is important that the term “mature students” does not disguise the heterogeneity of this group: “…it is erroneous to speak of ‘the adult learner’ as if there is a generic adult that can represent all adults.” However, amongst this varied group of students, there are common concerns that they share.
Mature students need more recognition of the different hurdles they face in achieving success. These can include situational barriers like a lack of time, lack of money, health issues, or dependant care, as well as attitudinal or dispositional barriers, including the fear of failure or alienation. Lastly, they also face systemic barriers such as restrictive course offerings and availability of instructors or support services outside of regular business hours. Our Mature Student Policy sets out students’ priorities in increasing the visibility of mature students on campus as well as optimizing their educational experience.