No Going Back: Women as University Students


91 pages
ISBN 1-895686-22-9
DDC 378'.0082'097169




Alexander D. Gregor is director of post-secondary studies in the Faculty
of Education, University of Manitoba, and co-editor of Postsecondary
Education in Canada: The Cultural Agenda.


This book looks at the university experience of the “mature” (i.e.,
20-plus) woman student. It is based on anonymous and informal taped
interviews with 25 women known to the author. Each of the questions
posed to the women constitutes a separate chapter: why they came to
university; how they coped at first; how they changed; how their
families and friends reacted to their decision to attend university; how
they managed over the course of time their relationships with others on
campus; and their recommendations. Although the information gathered is
essentially anecdotal (the chapters are given over in large part to
direct quotations from the respondents), the author does a very
effective job of providing a broad and systematic framework.

The book has some obvious delimitations, which the author readily
acknowledges. The institution under study has a relatively small student
population (approximately 2400), and is situated in a particularly
economically depressed region of the country. Moreover, its demographics
are somewhat different from the Canadian norm, with approximately
one-third of its student population falling into the category of
“mature.” As a result, typicalness of the student group and of their
experience is open to question. Nevertheless, the broad nature of the
author’s questions does allow the responses to be compared to the
growing body of research in this important area. No Going Back is an
interesting, useful, and very readable addition to that body of


Campbell, Patricia., “No Going Back: Women as University Students,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed November 28, 2023,