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The following paper discusses the implications of government policy for widening access and participation in third level institutes. The increase in ‘non-traditional’ students has been widely recognised on an international scale; however, some issues of inequality still exist. The ‘struggles’ associated with widening participation and the creation of a ‘new’ student type are discussed, with particular reference to chemistry education. A change is needed with regard to the pedagogical approach taken by staff in order to cater for a diverse student body comprising a broad range of learner types, and this must be supported both at departmental and institutional levels. Also included is a review of the literature as to what best practice is in supporting the ‘new’ third level student. To conclude I look at what the future may hold for third level institutes catering for this ‘new’ student type.
O'Connor, Christine: Implications of mass education on chemistry higher education. Level3, Issue 4, August 2006. doi: 10.21427/7kkx-5302