The RANLHE project is located within a context of increasing policy concern across Europe to widen participation in, and provide fair access to higher education to under-represented and excluded groups and to enhanced successful completion. This project will study the factors which promote or inhibit the access, retention and drop-out of non-traditional students in higher education.
Our research will look at how non-traditional students in higher education experience the processes of learning, how they perceive themselves as learners and how their identity as learners develop. Our definition of non-traditional adult student draws on a definition used in our previous research on access and adults in HE (EU TSER project): a new mature student entrant with no previous he qualification whose participation in HE is constrained by structural factors additional to age . In relation to younger students this refers to those who are first generation entrants to HE and are constrained by structural factors.
The project involves eight universities from seven countries: Ireland, Spain, Poland, Sweden, England, Scotland and Germany.