Widening participation in higher education: support at the further education/higher education interface and its impact on the transition and progression of advanced GNVQ students - a research report
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AbstractThis article aims to analyse and reflect upon the support offered to advanced GNVQ students in business, and leisure and tourism by college staff across seven further education colleges in the West Midlands conurbation. Specifically, the work offers a focus on elements of college support pertinent to the possible transition of these groups of students to undergraduate study in higher education. The elements of support studied are three-fold. First, strengths and weaknesses in the availability and usage of college support mechanisms aimed at facilitating course success for students are studied with respect to different student groups. Secondly, student concerns and attitudinal misconceptions are studied and related to the efficacy of college support advice. Finally, awareness of college support staff concerning the current culture and demands of undergraduate study is studied as a means to explore the information base used in advising and motivating their students. The study raises concern with respect to key skill support and its relationship to potential course success, and hence entry to higher education. It also suggests that college support staff need to be vigilant in ensuring a close relationship between the information, guidance and reassurance they provide, and identified student concerns. Finally, it indicates that some staff in further education tend to under-estimate the level of support available in higher education, and perceive significant and perhaps prohibitive differences in student skill requirement between the two sectors. These findings are discussed within the context of the need for additional networking and dialogue between colleagues in the two sectors.
CitationJournal of Vocational Education & Training, 54(1): 133-146
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training