Gemma Standen


  • 3.33 Chemistry

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Personal profile


I've been a member of UEA's Outreach team since 2016, where I've supported a range of interventions as a practitioner. Initially, I worked in pre-16 Outreach, running residential events for young people from target schools alongside delivering information and advice workshops and talks in schools across Norfolk. In 2019, I moved into a role in post-16 Outreach that supports mature students longitudinally across their academic lifecycle. I work collaboratively with further education colleges to provide those completing an Access to HE diploma insight and assistance through information, advice and guidance on pathways into HE. I also work within the community to support those looking for pathways into education to navigate options according to individual circumstances.

Having had lived experience as a mature student at undergraduate level, I felt compelled to learn more about advocacy and policy relating to lifelong learning within my role. This in turn has resulted in me undertaking a Master of Research in Social Science Research Methods with a view of progressing into doctorate level study. My research interests overlap a lot with my role, incorporating psychological, sociological and political factors that affect the progression and representation of mature and commuting students. However, I am generally very interested in research on continuation in HE and this is what my postgraduate research is concentrating on. Whilst undertaking my research projects into continuation, I am pleased to confirm I have been published in the Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning journal in a 2023 special edition called 'where have the mature students gone'. My contribution to this edition reflects the state of the education sector with relation to lifelong learning, particularly with the forthcoming introduction of the Lifelong Learning Entitlement, due for roll out in 2025.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Research, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 30 Aug 2024

Bachelor of Arts, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 24 Jul 2009

External positions

Deputy chair of Marshland High School Governing body

30 Nov 2018 → …


  • Continuing / adult education
  • Higher Education
  • Social Sciences (General)