Developing pathways from vocational to higher education courses

Year: 2015

Author: Fitzallen, Noliene, Ketersky Barnes, Robin, Kilpatrick, Sue, Brown Natalie

Type of paper: Refereed paper

There is increasing pressure to make pathways to higher education more accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from lower socioeconomic circumstances. Often, those students gain vocational qualifications but those qualifications do not always support them fully to articulate to higher education. This is, at least in part, due to the gap in mathematics knowledge between what is taught in the vocational qualifications and what is required for entry into the related higher education courses. This paper reports on a project that took a cross-sector approach to improving pathways from vocational to higher education that focus on mathematical skill development. The project developed pathways for four disciplines, engineering, education, health science and business. This paper examines the challenges faced when working across those sectors to develop resources and establish pathways for students to articulate from vocational qualifications into related higher education courses. Of particular interest are the outcomes for the education pathway. A preliminary evaluation of the development of the education pathway resources is presented. The study utilises an exploratory research paradigm to explore the issues of working across sectors through content analysis of reports and surveys of stakeholders in the project.