(2) how many and what proportion of students attending a higher education institution are women with children.
The Department has not commissioned research which is focused solely on women who wish to study for part-time degrees. However, the Department has commissioned the following projects which contain substantial information on this group:
“University is Not Just for Young People: Working Adults' Perceptions of and Orientation to Higher Education”, (DIUS Research Report 08 06), published in April 2008, which studied the attitudes and intentions towards HE of working adults (aged 22 to 55 with no university level qualification).
“Alternative Routes Into and Pathways Through HE”, publication expected early spring, which studied people who had entered HE through routes other than direct entry from school with A levels, or who were studying in modes other than full-time for a first degree in an HE institution. This included a substantial number of women studying part-time for a degree.
“Futuretrack: Part-time Students”, a project jointly funded with Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) which is a longitudinal study tracking people studying part-time. The work has also involved a literature review of part-time study and analysis of HESA records. The final report will not be published until 2011, though an interim report is expected in spring this year.