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Working class heroesThis research is the first stage in a longitudinal study of mature women learners from three feeder colleges to the University of Wolverhampton in three 'disciplines', nursing, teaching and psychology. The research questions I will address eventually are: to what extent have the aspirations of the women learners been met? What is the context in which these aspirations have been lived out? How can this inform institutional policy and strategy in the context of widening participation? Preliminary findings indicate that these women choose to take degree courses in vocational subjects because they see job opportunities in these fields, they are carers and therefore have personal experience and/or they have missed out on further and higher education earlier in their lives. The institution has developed various initiatives to raise the aspirations of these potential students particularly in the local area. This paper explores whether and how these students' aspirations have informed these initiatives.