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Pathways to Higher Education


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National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education presentation for FACE Conference in Glasgow, 2017.

Published in: Education
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Pathways to Higher Education

  2. 2. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The Report Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training via the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program’s (HEPPP) National Priorities Pool, 2014 with the public report released in 2016. Pitman, T., Trinidad, S., Devlin, M., Harvey, A., Brett, M. & McKay, J. (2016). “Pathways to Higher Education: The Efficacy of Enabling and Sub-Bachelor Pathways for Disadvantaged Students”. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Perth: Curtin University.
  3. 3. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The HESP Review  50% of students come through pathways.  Need for transparency of HE admission processes for pathways.  We know a greater proportion of equity students transitioning via pathways.  Generally experience better first-year retention rates.
  4. 4. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  5. 5. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The Project Team  Tim Pitman, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education  Sue Trinidad, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education  Marcia Devlin, Federation University Australia  Andrew Harvey, La Trobe University  Matthew Brett, La Trobe University  Jade McKay, Deakin University
  6. 6. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The Brief … to undertake a review of current enabling programmes offered by Australian higher education providers and report on the extent to which these courses are effective in increasing access and participation to, and subsequent success in, undergraduate courses for domestic students from disadvantaged groups….
  7. 7. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Key Questions  Are enabling programs effective for widening participation for disadvantaged students in their own right?  Are enabling programs less or more effective than other alternative pathways to higher education, for disadvantaged students?
  8. 8. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Methodology 1. Detailed taxonomy of enabling pathways into HE 2. Statistical analysis of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training data to explore the efficacy of enabling programs. 3. National student survey exploring the perceptions of students who participated in enabling programs and other pathways into HE.
  9. 9. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J How to Measure? The 3 Ps… 1. Creating a typology of enabling programs (the “potential”) 2. Comparing retention and success rates (the “proof”) 3. Surveying the students (the “perceptions”)
  10. 10. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Defining Disadvantage  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons  Persons from low socioeconomic status backgrounds  Persons from regional and remote areas  Persons with disabilities  Persons from non-English speaking backgrounds  Women enrolled in non-traditional areas of study
  11. 11. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The Literature  Enabling programs are not exclusive to, but enrol disproportionately from, groups of students under-represented in the Australian HE sector. This is in line with their fundamental aim.  Enabling pathways offer access to HE for many students who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to participate.  The VET sector appears prima facie to be a viable pathway into HE for disadvantaged students.  Students articulating from the VET sector into HE encounter barriers to success, resulting in below-average performance.
  12. 12. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J The Potential
  13. 13. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J
  14. 14. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Overall Findings 1. Diversity of enabling programs. 2. Lack of transparency, transferability and information about enabling programs. 3. Programs are relatively unrestricted in regards to access. 4. Greater proportion of students enrolled are from equity groups.
  15. 15. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Overall Findings (cont.) 5. Disadvantaged students who articulate via an enabling program generally experience better first-year retention rates than those using other pathways 6. In terms of success, equity group of students articulating from enabling pathways are experiencing academic barriers to success. 7. Enabling students express greater satisfaction with their articulating experience in comparison with those using a VET pathway.
  16. 16. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Overall Findings (cont.) 8. Most VET students undertook the VET qualification for its own benefits, not as a pathway to university studies. 9. The relatively low cost of an enabling program to the student is a significant attraction for disadvantaged students. 10. Need for greater consistency among programs to improve transparency, quality, student mobility and equity.
  17. 17. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Snapshot of One Equity Group: Students from Low SES Backgrounds “It gave me the confidence I need to even try. I am 41 years old and had left high school when I was in year 10 and from then on had worked full time office based jobs. Due to being a poor student at school I had always thought that university was out of reach for me. However, completing [the enabling program] revealed I had more potential than I ever would have imagined.”
  18. 18. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Current Bill Going to Parliament
  19. 19. CRICOS Provider Code 00301J Email: Twitter: @NCSEHE Website: Publication: efficacy-of-enabling-and-sub-bachelor-pathways-for-disadvantaged-students/