Student news

Date published: 28 November 2012

28 November 2012

Open Universities Australia (OUA) is pleased to announce the launch of a new book, Transformations and Self Discovery; Stories of Women Returning to Education.

The book reveals the stories of seven mature-aged Australian women, who each embarked on tertiary education later in life.

In their own words, these women share how and why they decided to go to university, what helps and hinders their studies and how their lives are changing as a result.

Co-authors, Dr Cathy Stone, Director of the Student Experience Unit, OUA and Dr Sarah O'Shea, University of Wollongong, based the book on the notion that the typical student is no longer necessarily a young school-leaver whose parents have also been to university.

According to Dr Stone, "These days it's more than likely that first time university students attend later in life and tend to be the first in their families to do so."

"We're particularly noticing this to be the case amongst women in their 30's and 40's, which in turn presents a number of challenges and pressures outside the rigours of study alone, and tends to include juggling other responsibilities such as their families.

"At Open Universities Australia for example, women represent almost 65 per cent of our students and over the years, mature aged students have become one of our great growth areas," says Dr Stone.

Barbara, a single parent studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching is one of the women included in the book. Some of the challenges Barbara faced in addition to study were a marriage breakdown and the need to relocate just prior to starting university.

When asked what her university experience was like Barbara said, "It's definitely not just an educational experience; it's like a life learning experience too."

The book is an excellent resource for academics and educators who wish understand the mindset and challenges faced by this undeniably growing segment of students. Other women contemplating further education will also greatly benefit from this publication.

Book Launch Details

Date: Thursday 29 November, 2012
Time: 4.30 - 5.30pm
Where: The Book Grocer, 455 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Who: Professor Marcia Devlin, Executive Director of Academic Programs & Service, OUA, who will launch the book; Dr Cathy Stone and Dr Sarah O'Shea will also be present.

About Open Universities Australia - leading online learning

Owned by seven of Australia's premier universities, OUA is the national leader in quality online tertiary education. Enrolling more than 200,000 students since 1993, OUA provides access to over 1700 units and 180 qualifications taught by more than 20 leading Australian universities and tertiary education providers.

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Singh
Senior External Communications and Media Relations Officer
Open Universities Australia
Ph: 03 8628 2412
Mobile: 0419 662 553