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Money Box Live: Mature Students

Financial phone-in. How do you finance study as a mature student?

There are many reasons to begin university later in life. Gaining new qualifications could open the door to a fresh career path or a promotion, or maybe you weren't able to access higher education straight from school.

The life experience you've built up in the meantime is highly valued by universities but the responsibilities that older adults may have can make it harder to focus on studying. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) say that 40% of mature students are over 30 and have work, mortgage or family responsibilities and the Higher Education Funding Council for England says around 12% of older students are unable to complete their course.

If you're a mature student or thinking of becoming one we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. What are your ambitions, questions and concerns? What are the challenges and how are you managing to balance multiple roles?

Joining Louise Cooper to talk it over and to offer advice about opportunities for older learners, student funding and academic support are:

Phil Davis, Head of Student Support, Bishop Grosseteste University.
Kellie McAlonan, Student Funding Team Leader, University of the West of Scotland.
Caroline McDonald, Head of Widening Access, Birkbeck University.
Dr Tony Ellis, Director, Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds.

What do you think? Call 03700 100 444 between 1pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 13 September, standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply. Or e-mail with your thoughts and experiences now.

Presenter: Louise Cooper
Producer: Diane Richardson
Editor: Andrew Smith.

Available now

30 minutes