chapter  9
11 Pages


ByAlison Fuller, Sue Heath, Brenda Johnston

The effects of the financial crisis that swept across the world during the latter part of 2008 continue to produce headlines. In the UK, recent official statistics report both high levels of unemployment and a steeply growing number of people working beyond the age of 65 (ONS 2010). This situation focuses attention on the challenges faced by adults across the life course, including young people trying to make the transition from education to work, adults in mid-life needing to update or develop new skills, and older people approaching retirement. Given contemporary socioeconomic circumstances, we would suggest that interest in the role that higher education (HE) can play in improving people’s life chances is only likely to grow. In this context, the empirical and theoretical insights that have been presented in this book make an important contribution to understanding decision-making as an embedded social process.