(University of Bath, UK)
This presentation draws on a recently published in the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA)-funded study (with Dr Robin Shields, University of Bath) that investigates outcomes and support for students with vocational qualifications who pursue degrees in UK universities. Using a mixed methods approach, the study combines a quantitative analysis of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) with qualitative data obtained from student focus groups and staff interviews at two UK universities. The quantitative analysis reveals significant differences by degree outcomes, even when controlling for demographic variables. However, focus group discussions also show that these students – who mostly hold Business and Technician Education Council (BTEC) qualifications – are highly capable, and possess qualities that can help them succeed at the highest levels in Higher Education. The results point to a need for greater awareness of the landscape of university entry qualifications.
Alex Masardo teaches on the BA Education with Psychology, MA Education and Doctor of Education programmes at the University of Bath UK. He researches pedagogy, learning and diversity and has recently completed an HEA-funded project with Dr Robin Shields looking at changing patterns in vocational entry qualifications, student support and outcomes in undergraduate degree programmes. He is currently working with Dr Bruce Smyth (ANU), exploring aspects of Shared Parental Responsibility for Children's Education, and with Arts University Bournemouth UK, on a HEFCE-funded Theatre-in-Education initiative "What are My Options?" as part of The National Networks for Collaborative Outreach scheme.