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Challenges To Learning: Mature Students In Higher Education

1. Introduction: Challenges To Learning: Mature Students In Higher Education

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1.1 Background of study

The research will be going to discuss the topic of challenges affected in the learning process for higher education mature students in the UK. The learners will be also notified of the multiple ranges of challenges that as the absenteeism of time management, generation of flexibility, values for money and clearing mindsets will be also considered of them. Therefore, higher education children can also enhance the rates of multiple ranges of aspects related to emerging college alternatives and political interference will be considered one of them. In addition, student debt, increasing rates of costing structures and enrolment declines will also be increasing the rates of disruptions at the time of conducting the educational progress. 

It can also be created a negative effect by enhancing the rates of disruptions in an effective manner related to financial issues, academic preparedness and managing commitments will be treated one of them. Along with that, the chances of understanding and rates of effective communications problems can be also overviewed at the timing of providing the educational facilities among the students. Taking the accurate ranges of action plans the rates of disruptions can also be easily identified which can be making beneficial side for the development of economic growth.  

1.2 Research Aims and Objectives


This research aims to determine the issues that have increased the rates of disruptions at the time of providing the learning facility among higher secondary students. 


  • To determine the issues that can be faced by students in higher education
  • To analyse the effective decision-making approaches for mitigating the issues 
  • To evaluate the strategies for enhancements of mature students' experiences in higher education 

1.3 Research questions

  1. What are the bulk crucial problems facing students in higher education institutions recently?
  2. What will be the problems faced by undergraduates in higher education?
  3. What will be the core problems mature students have for attending university?

1.4 Problem statement

Some non-traditional mature learners in higher education lack specialist subject qualifications have had negative experiences with a subject in the past, and feel anxious by avoiding the subject. Areas of institutional practice are going to be one of the main concerned areas to make practical recommendations. The flexibility of learners is deeply associated with its low cost and accessibility while achieving course schedules and lowering barriers to entry. Therefore, interchanges with counterparts play an important role in the knowledge-construction process in order to resolve problems faced by students in the higher education system. 

1.5 Rationale

The issue is control and freedom within the closed higher education system, which perpetuated the social status of students. 

These factors have appeared as major issues as educational equality completely relies on the equal ability to deliver benefits and access education from different social groupings. 

The issue has been initiated due to a rise in tuition fees and a lack of upskilling as the educational sector does not have the latest technology for providing the services they need. 

The issue shed light on providing an appropriate support network for encouraging the engagement of mature students with more immature peers. 

1.6 Scope of the research

The main scope of this study is to explore staff and students' perspectives to propose guidelines for producing a self-standing service to overcome the challenges they face in higher education. Widening participation is intended to cover the experience of an entire student in various demographics and social aspects.

2. Literature review

2.1 Challenges faced by mature Students in higher education

The expanded accessibility of the institute has been marked on the grounds of the large number of students that have enrolled in online courses. A high-dropout rate in open universities delivers conflicts regarding the realities for those students who struggled in adopting learning abilities (Lee et al. 2019). Hashim et al. (2011), that students in higher education need to be more dependent on self-regulating practice rather than dependent on distance learning or lecture materials, have argued it. 

2.2 Decision-making approaches

Consequently, based on approaches the learning experience of non-traditional students is completely different from the decision-making powers and experiences of younger students (Lee et al. 2019). It is supported by Heiman and Olenik-Shemesh (2019) a rapidly changing society, comparisons with other students are related to job opportunities and that delivers anxiety within them and creates a negative influence on the mind. As opined by Harris et al. (2020), traditional undergraduates were no more likely to engage in cheating behaviours and that influenced their results in a very bad way. The immediate rise of the new cheating economy influenced the academic quality and success of students where technology also delivered a significant role. 

2.3 Strategies for enhancement of experiences of mature students in higher education

The quality of education in universities by a lecturer tends to have a high rate of student enrollment as well as student retention. According to Graham (2021), hiring professionals who understand and care about a specialist subject that they will be teaching and capable of catching the attention of students at the same time. Higher education institution needs to adopt some specialist program as well for encouraging the student to adopt learning beyond the classroom as well. Involving social media as a supportive technology to create and share educational content. Extra curriculum activity is also necessary for improving their anxiety issues due to the workload they have. 

2.4 Theoretical perspectives

"A critical theory" believes that knowledge is historical and shaped by dominant power and privilege (Park et al. 2019). Therefore, adult learners and educators of adults are encouraged by utilising the theory in order to resist participating in the reproduction of inequality. Hegemony is another preliminary concern in critical theory for explaining forces that shape the special order and has a special influence on daily particulars in terms of common sense. 

2.5 Literature gap

The literature offers few in-depth reviews regarding the considerable gap between evaluated goals and requirements of students by educational institutions and programmes. These findings offered a narrow basis for improving education and little scrutiny of surrounding problems regarding academic credentials that are valuable in the job market. 

3. Methods 

3.1 Research outline

Key elements

Attributes chosen

Research Philosophy


Research Approach


Research Design


Data source


Data collection techniques

Review journal

Data analysis plan


Table 1: Research Outline

3.2 Research philosophy

A "positivism research philosophy" needs to be followed by a researcher as it links with gathering a data analysis process by observing different factors by following aims and objectives (Deb et al. 2019). Using this philosophy main aspect of challenges faced by mature students in Universities can evaluated with a level of quality deliverable plan. 

3.3 Research approach

This specific piece of research needs to follow a "deductive approach" as it aimed to configure several challenges to learning and enhancing and fulfilling adult learners' needs for self-empowerment. Theories such as critical theory are being supported easily in this process of adapting to challenges. A researcher would not adopt the inductive research approach, as research does not indicate developing any new ideas and existing evidence. 

3.4 Research design

In analysing various factors related to the research topic positivism research philosophy has been selected for the researcher, "descriptive design" is the most suitable design in this setup. In supporting, the connection between a comprehensive framework to guide online knowledge, technological acceptance models and motivational theories with mature learners' need for descriptive research design is significant (Diep et al. 2019). 

3.5 Data source and data types

Secondary qualitative data based on input from journals and articles that is the result of previous research and the viewpoints of different authors (Bairagi and Munot, 2019). This research will follow secondary qualitative data on a small scale where a reliable source of books and journals based on the topic will be extract. 

3.6 Data collection process

The future of the research paper's success completely depends on the data collection process. The suggested data source and data types for the researcher will be secondary qualitative and based on that thematic analysis needs to consider. In order to select journals for evaluating different types of challenges faced by students in higher education, it is important to consider whether those are up to date and whether sources are authentic or not. "Pubmed, Google Scholar and Proquest" are some authentic sources that need to consider while selecting journals on a research topic and that help in achieving the aim and objective of a research topic. Major information extracted from secondary sources to discuss all constructed themes. 

3.7 Ethical consideration

Authentic and trustable sources need to follow by the researcher side by following Copyright acts while selecting journals. Apart from that researcher needs to ensured, any data manipulated or not. Learning need identification is a subjective process and these needs should be examine by individual differences in learner characteristics. It is also important for a researcher to delete all data after the completion of the research. 

3.8 Time plan

 Time plan

Time plan 2

Time plan 3

Figure 1: Time plan



Bairagi, V. and Munot, M.V. eds., 2019. Research methodology: A practical and scientific approach. CRC Press. United States

Deb, D., Dey, R. and Balas, V.E., 2019. Engineering research methodology: a practical insight for researchers. Springer.


Chydenius, T. and Haapa, S., 2019. Benchmarking practical inclusion methods in higher education institutions. In Proceedings 2019, Cross-cultural Business Conference 2019. Shaker Verlag. https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/221583/Chydenius_Haapa.pdf?sequence=1

Cousins, S., Brindley, J., Baker, J. and Johnston-Wilder, S., 2019. Stories of mathematical resilience: How some adult learners overcame affective barriers. Widening participation and lifelong learning21(1), pp.46-70. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/openu/jwpll/2019/00000021/00000001/art00004

Diep, A.N., Zhu, C., Cocquyt, C., De Greef, M., Vo, M.H. and Vanwing, T., 2019. Adult learners' needs in online and blended learning. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 59(2), pp.223-253. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1235812.pdf

Graham, L.R., 2021. 6. How Should an Indian Speak? Amazonian Indians and the Symbolic Politics of Language in the Global Public Sphere. In Indigenous movements, self-representation, and the state in Latin America (pp. 181-228). University of Texas Press. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7560/791381-007/html

Harris, L., Harrison, D., McNally, D. and Ford, C., 2020. Academic integrity in an online culture: do McCabe’s findings hold true for online, adult learners?. Journal of Academic Ethics, 18(4), pp.419-434. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Darragh-Mcnally/publication/334747793_Academic_Integrity_in_an_Online_Culture_Do_McCabe's_Findings_Hold_True_for_Online_Adult_Learners/links/5d77cf09299bf1cb8097c1f7/Academic-Integrity-in-an-Online-Culture-Do-McCabes-Findings-Hold-True-for-Online-Adult-Learners.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&_sg%5B1%5D=started_experiment_milestone&origin=journalDetail

Hashim, M. H. M., Hashim, Y., and Esa, A. (2011). Online learning interaction continuum (OLIC): A qualitative case study. International Education Studies, 4(2), 18.

Heiman, T. and Olenik-Shemesh, D., 2019. Perceived body appearance and eating habits: The voice of young and adult students attending higher education. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(3), p.451. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/3/451/pdf

Lee, K., Choi, H. and Cho, Y.H., 2019. Becoming a competent self: A developmental process of adult distance learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 41, pp.25-33. https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/130305/1/2019_IHE_Becoming_a_competent_self_Lee_et_al_Open_Version.pdf

Park, H., Choi, J., Kim, J. and Hwang, J., 2019. The Academic Credit Bank System in the Republic of Korea: An effective medium for lifelong learning in higher education?. International Review of Education65(6), pp.975-990. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jinhee-Choi/publication/337543148_The_Academic_Credit_Bank_System_in_the_Republic_of_Korea_An_effective_medium_for_lifelong_learning_in_higher_education/links/5de7f939299bf10bc3403f27/The-Academic-Credit-Bank-System-in-the-Republic-of-Korea-An-effective-medium-for-lifelong-learning-in-higher-education.pdf

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