Transitioning from enabling education into higher education: A case study of the benefits and challenges presented to and by mature students with life experience


  • Christopher M. Klinger School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, University of South Australia
  • Neil Murray Research Centre for Languages and Cultures, University of South Australia


Mature students who enter undergraduate programs via enabling pathways bring to their studies valuable skills and experiences that benefit them, their peers and their tutors by enriching the learning process. However, the case study reported here provides evidence that, somewhat ironically, those same skills and experiences have the potential to create tension and conflict that can be problematic for tutors and demoralise the students concerned to such an extent that they contemplate withdrawal from their programs. It is proposed that one way of avoiding this situation is by raising awareness of it and providing tutors with the necessary skills and strategies for managing students’ expectations. This can be achieved via teacher education and professional development programs and initiatives. 


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