Funding as a crisis for mature women students: Agency, barriers and widening participation
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Drawing on a research investigation into the learning pathways of mature women, this chapter highlights funding as a crisis. Mature women students face barriers to access, participation and success in higher education. Understanding these barriers is crucial for widening institutional access. The analysis in this study indicates that a lack of personal finance and difficulties in accessing institutional funding are among the significant barriers these women experience. In addition, the findings show that some women overcame their funding crisis and successfully gained entry into higher education, while others remain excluded. Motivation to overcome poverty is primary to the agency that women demonstrate in their efforts to devise strategies to access funding for their higher education studies.