Reflections of Rwandan Mature Women Students on the Contribution of University Studies in Improving Individual and Community Lives

Abstract
The Objective of the present study is to document the contribution of University studies towards empowering mature women students in Rwanda. Specifically, this study documents how University education has contributed to improve individual and social lives of women mature students in Rwanda. Interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data from one hundred and twenty mature women students located in six higher learning institutions in Rwanda. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Findings reveal that, at individual and community levels, participants in the present study maintain that university studies helped some to maintain their jobs, others to create their own jobs or take part in activities that aim to reduce poverty, develop and increase literacy as well as healthcare awareness in the community. They felt to be morally satisfied as role models to younger generations in general and their own children in particular by using their time for academically rewarding activities instead of spending time gossiping for no personal or community advancement. They advocate for continued support to the policy of open access to higher education with flexible programmes that accommodate both working and non-working women. Higher education studies increase women competitiveness and provide opportunities for better networking. Also, findings in the present study break the established stereotype that only males are destined for higher education and for specific academic domains. The study recommends the extension and sustainability of such flexible programmes to afford capacity development of mature students. Overall, the majority of respondents converge on the "better late than never" saying, and are grateful of the open access to university studies policy regardless of the students' age.
Description
Keywords
Education for development, Higher education, Reflection,
Citation
Kagwesage, A. M; Mulinda, C. K Kambanda, S & Murenzi, J. (2020). Reflections of Rwandan Mature Women Students on the Contribution of University Studies in Improving Individual and Community Lives. Journal of Popular Education in Africa. 4(10), 133 – 148.
Collections