Adult Education Academy

    Ana Guimaraes Duarte

    What excites you about adult learning and education?

    "The possibility to change lives and empower people."

    Why did you choose to do research in the field of adult learning and education?

    "To contribute to adult education research development concerning our informal learning in everyday life."


    Ana Guimarães Duarte is a PhD student at Adult Education at Institute of Education, University of Lisbon. She has worked as project manager and adult educator in vocational and community education. 

    Her current research interests include experiential learning and learning trajectories of migrant women.

    CG7: Adult education and gender - mature women in higher education

    Co-Moderator: Prof. Natalia Alves 

    Over the past decades, the number of non-traditional students attending higher education has grown significantly around the world. Governments and higher education institutions encourage under-represented students to enrol. Widening their participation is often directed at two main goals: enhancing national economic competitiveness and promoting social inclusion in higher education for traditionally excluded groups such as the working classes, ethnic minorities and older and disabled students.
    In this comparative group, we will focus on al particular group of non-traditional students: mature women.
    The definition of mature undergraduates varies between countries according to age criteria. In some countries, they are defined as those aged 21 and over; in others as 23 or 25 and over. In spite of these age differences, the academic community largely agrees that mature students are those who are older than “traditional“ students (18 year-olds).
    The research conducted to explore mature women’s motivation for participating in higher education shows that their university enrolment was influenced in some cases by the state of their relationship with their families. In other cases, the desire to attend higher education had been present for a long time, but the realisation of this desire was delayed because of structural and individual barriers.

    Based on the analysis of interviews conducted by the participants of this comparative group work with mature women attending higher education institutions, we expect students:

    • To compare the national definitions of mature undergraduate students
    • To compare mature women’s motivations to attend higher education
    • To compare mature women’s motivation for higher education as it relates to broader national socio-economic contexts


    For more information about the comparative group have a look at our programme!



    ⇒ Back to the Overview week 2