Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Social Adjustment and Transition to University for Mature-Age, Undergraduate Students
Dr. Merryn Dawborn-Gundlach, Associate Professor Kay Margetts

This study sought to understand the impact of social transition on university adjustment for mature-age students enrolled in their first undergraduate course at an Australian university. Although there has been extensive research surrounding university transition, few studies have specifically investigated the transition of mature-age students. The collection of survey and interview data at four stages of their first year of university provided details of the experiences and reflections of transition over time. Results show that despite initial concerns about the academic demands of tertiary study, the challenges facing mature-age students are in their social transition, including issues of acceptance and interaction, loneliness and isolation and campus friendships. Implications from this research include the provision of interactive and social experiences by universities to enhance opportunities for mature-age students to meet and form contacts and friendships with others on campus.

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