Narrating unfinished business: adult learners using credit transfer to re-engage with higher education

Pegg, Ann and Di Paolo, Terry (2013). Narrating unfinished business: adult learners using credit transfer to re-engage with higher education. Studies in Continuing Education, 35(2) pp. 209–223.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2012.736382

Abstract

This paper seeks to advance our understanding of the credit transfer phenomenon in the UK, specifically how students draw on a credit as a form of institutional cultural capital. Drawing on interviews with twenty-six part-time mature learners this paper examines the progressive and retrospective orientations to study that surfaced in students’ accounts of credit transfer and their life-long learning journeys. A common theme of “unfinished business” appeared to dominate these accounts and a narrative-oriented analysis of the findings revealed the role of credit transfer in enabling students to complete varied personal projects or forms of “unfinished business”. The findings of this work suggest that in an increasingly complex higher education market there is a need to understand students’ strategic use of the credit they accumulate. In particular, this paper explores how credit transfer features in the narratives of students’ successful learning journeys

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