Liberation Conference Policy - Mature Students

Mature Students as a Liberation Network

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here.

Which Students’ Unions have been involved in proposing?
University of Nottingham Students' Union

What’s the issue and how does it affect students?
In higher education, age discrimination mainly affects mature students. Despite being a protected characteristic and being recognised by students' unions at a local level, is not classed as a liberation group by NUS. Mature students are more likely to face barriers entering, and studying, at higher education institutions due to non-traditional qualifications and necessity to study part-time. Mature students in HE also face several compounding and intersectional disadvantages, such as familial responsibilities. As such, non-continuation is highest for mature students. Through lifelong learning entitlements, there is an expected increase in mature students entering higher education. We need to prepare!

What changes would we like to see in society to change this?
We need to acknowledge that Mature students have always been a significant cohort in higher education alongside the traditional intake and require dedicated support around academic affairs and housing. We need to encourage Mature students to feel able to engage with their students' unions on matters that affect them, and students more generally, ultimately to ensure Mature students are actively consulted through NUS on law and policy which will affect them.

Impact Assessment

How does it impact FE students / Apprentices?
Many higher education institutions are providing more Degree Apprenticeships at higher levels, targeted toward mature students. The impact of this being different to those students in other Apprenticeship programmes is not acknowledged and understood.

How does it impact on International Students, Postgraduate Students, Part Time and Mature Students?
This primarily affects Mature students; however, this may impact International, Postgraduates and Part Time students who are also mature.

How does it impact on black, disabled, LGBT+, trans and women students?
Mature students may also have intersecting identities based on ethnicity, disability, sexuality, and gender identity. Additionally, mature students may intersect with other protected characteristics such as marriage or civil partnership, and parent or carer responsibilities.

Does this apply across the UK or specifically in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?
This would apply across the UK.