Embracing Lifelong Learning, or Just the Means to an End?
The Australia Youth Research Centre has been conducting a longitudinal study mapping the transitions of young people since they left school and chose to enter further education. The participants in this research were the products of new policies in Australia promoting the importance of higher education and successful future as a result. However at the end of their first degrees over 50% returned to further study as they were dissatisfied with their current employment/future options. Participants expressed a strong desire to achieve more than their parents were able to, but more importantly they wanted greater fulfillment from the path they were going to take. "I won't do what Dad did and stay in a job he found completely boring for 25 years, I want more". This desire for different, combined with a sense of entitlement for ongoing challenge, stimulation and fulfillment has led to some interesting and surprising pathway choices.
Keywords: Transition, Life Long Learning, Entitlement, Agency
Lecturer and Research Fellow, Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne