"The Balancing Act"--Irish Part-Time Undergraduate Students in Higher Education

Darmody, Merike and Fleming, Bairbre (2009) "The Balancing Act"--Irish Part-Time Undergraduate Students in Higher Education. pp. 67-83. ISSN 0332-3315, 0332-3315


While the numbers of part-time students has increased in higher education in Ireland, little is known about these students or about how they balance their study and other commitments. Drawing on a larger study on Irish students' experiences in higher education, this article attempts to address this gap in research and reports on Irish part-time undergraduate students' socio-demographic and institutional characteristics. It further explores the balance between part-time students' academic study and their life situations. The article proposes some recommendations with regard to policy concerning part-time students, particularly in the area of financial support available to part-time learners. It also calls for expanding opportunities for participation in part-time study in the light of changing demography and provision of resources to facilitate students' participation in higher education. Although the findings of this article broadly agree with those of international studies, more research is needed into the experiences of part-time students in higher education. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table and 10 notes.)

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