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The landscape of vocational progression in higher education: understanding the retention and progression of vocational learners through a regional perspective

Round, David and Brownless, Chris and ROUT, Amelia (2012) The landscape of vocational progression in higher education: understanding the retention and progression of vocational learners through a regional perspective. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 17 (1). pp. 5-19. ISSN 1359-6748

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Abstract or description

This project aimed to better understand vocational student progression into higher education. Following an initial literature review a large dataset was purchased from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (covering the years 2002/3 to 2006/7 and 2007/8). This allowed for a quantitative analysis to take place which compared and contrasted the experiences of vocational and traditional learners (both full-time and part-time). Analysis of the quantitative data used displays how the overall relationship between entry profile and retention is a complex one and that it is too simplistic to say that vocational learners have significantly negative outcomes in terms of non-completion. The quantitative data also displayed that vocational learners are significantly more likely to be drawn from the lowest socio-economic groups. Other important points that were found after analysis of the quantitative data include the fact that vocational entrants are more likely to leave Year 1 full-time (FT) and sandwich awards than traditional entrants, that in the main there is little difference in completion rates between vocational and traditional entrants (apart from on Year 3 undergraduate awards) and that the distribution of degree classifications on FT awards shows that vocational entrants have a lower proportion of first and upper-second class degrees. The comparison of a sample of other universities has also shown that the main relationships and correlations identified in the study of the Lifelong Learning Network are observed elsewhere. The importance of the degree of deprivation in background has been shown to be a strong factor that impacts upon entry routes and retention.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: X300 Academic studies in Education
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Education
Depositing User: Amelia ROUT
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2013 17:23
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2013 17:23
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/395

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