Vocational and Mature Students Success in Higher Education Foundation Programmes

Black, Anna (2022) Vocational and Mature Students Success in Higher Education Foundation Programmes. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 70 (2). pp. 105-121. ISSN 0737-7363

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/07377363.2021.1923306


Higher education in the UK is pressured to widen participation due to the social justice issues of mobility and movement through the class divide. However, those from lower classes and mature students elect for qualifications that do not classically allow entry into university, for example, the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and Access to Higher Education (AHE) diplomas. A solution to this is a university bridging programme. Such a programme was analysed as to whether it prepares different cohorts of students effectively for undergraduate programmes, that is, those who have just missed the entry qualification but are coming from Advanced level qualifications, the other coming from nontraditional entry routes. Data from one academic year were anonymised and analysed. Results indicated that students coming from courses designed to widen participation scored significantly lower on the programme than those coming from Advanced level awards of any subject. This indicates that vocational and returning-to-education qualifications fail to prepare students for academia due to being focussed on the outcome, rather than the objective, of learning. The study also questioned entry tariff point equivalency. Those with higher points and nontraditional qualifications performed worse, suggesting that entry points cannot be used prognostically. Tariff points are a system to translate traditional grading systems into a numerical form which then allows for easy comparison between students. Varying qualifications have differing grading systems, and tariff points are used to enable the conversion of these grading systems to a universal one.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic preparedness, transition, higher education, foundation level, vocational qualifications, mature students
Subjects: X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 14:38
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2023 08:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46236

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