I’m currently working on an article based on a series of interviews I’ve done with older mature (40+) students. I’m keen to explore the experiences of this group of students, who I think have a very different experience of university than the majority of mature students (21+).
As I was re-writing the introduction I decided that I wanted to mention something about when mature students emerged as a policy issue, and this led on to thinking about when they emerged into popular culture.
So I asked the twitter hivemind:
Can anyone think of any pre- “Educating Rita” representations of mature students in British popular culture? (@_rachel_brooks ?)
— Nick Pearce (@drnickpearce) November 25, 2015
I ended up getting a few responses which I thought I’d note here, in the hope of getting some more over time!
A few people mentioned the Young Ones, and Mike in particular
— Emily Westwood (@ItsEmilyHerex) November 25, 2015
When I looked at information about the show I didn’t see any explicit mentions of Mike as a mature student, although in an interview Rik Mayall did describe him as the father figure in the dysfunctional nuclear family.
In terms of the cast, the actors would be classified as mature students when the series started, Adrian Edmondson (25), Rik Mayall (24), Nigel Planer (29) and Christopher Ryan who played Mike and was 32 when the season started. So he was a bit older than the rest of the cast, who were already quite a bit older than the traditional student intake anway.
The only other suggestion was a slightly obscure one about Russ Abbot which I’d love to hear more about
— Annika Coughlin (@annikacoughlin) November 25, 2015
So that’s it so far. I’d love to hear about any other representations of mature students, perhaps in literature or music? Or of course more TV and film representations. I haven’t actually seen Educating Rita yet, so I guess I’d better get on to that as well!