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At a time when more mature women are being encouraged to enter higher education as students, this book investigates the effects that studying for a degree has upon women's relationships. The volume explores the interfaces between education and family in the lives of mature women students. Using a qualitative feminist methodology, social science female students of different race and class, with children and in long-term relationships with men, were interviewed in depth. The accounts presented reveal the underlying tensions which exist when "education" and "family" come into conflict. Questions are explored concerning relationships of power within women's lives, both inside and outside "the family" and how these may alter during a degree course. The book assesses the implications and outcomes of power within women's lives and, in particular, it focuses on women's positions in private and public worlds and in higher education itself. This book should be of interest to students and teachers of social sciences, particularly gender issues and educational policies, and women on return to study and other education courses.