The Million Plus group says there is a “huge pool of untapped potential” among adults who missed out on university.
After fees increased in 2012, mature student numbers fell by 20%.
Les Ebdon, head of the university access watchdog, backed calls to reverse this “very worrying trend”.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has launched a review of post-18 education, which will examine fees and financial support for students.
The report, Forgotten Learners, also calls for more flexible ways of studying that would make it more practical for part-time, adult students.
The particular needs of mature learners should be recognised, says the report, such as having family responsibilities, financial pressures that make full-time study unlikely and a preference for living at home rather than on campus.
Prof Ebdon, director of the Office for Fair Access to Higher Education, said: “There is a clear societal and economic benefit to people succeeding in higher education, whatever stage of their life they come to it.
“But too often, talented people are excluded because of a lack of options that meet their needs.”
Full article here – http://www.bbc.com/news/education-43388911
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