Learning attributes, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging amongst mature students at a Canadian university

The current study investigated learning attributes, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging of mature adult students in higher education. Undergraduate students of all ages at a large Canadian research intensive university were recruited to participate in an online survey. Mature and traditional age students were compared on their motivation and learning strategies, test anxiety, academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging. Results revealed that mature students possessed significantly higher levels of overall academic self-efficacy and lower levels of test anxiety than traditional age students, boding well for their success in higher education. However, significantly lower levels of sense of belonging reported by mature students provide cause for concern considering the relationship between sense of belonging, persistence in higher education and well-being. Implications, limitations and recommendations for future research are provided.