Event details

Equivalent qualifications: alternative routes into higher education

Thursday, 05 November 2020

This webinar draws on three pieces of research to look at the transitions of students with equivalent qualifications to, and through higher education. It will, on the one hand, look at who the students taking Business and Technology Education Council qualifications (BTEC) are, discussing their rates of university access and progression. On the other hand, the webinar will discuss inclusive learning and teaching cultures, the importance of belonging, and the diversity of transitions as mediated by pedagogical regimes. 
10.00-10.10 Welcome & Introduction
10.10-10.40 Does prior qualification affect degree outcomes? (5 minutes of Q&A)

                           Pallavi Banerjee
10.40-11.10 ‘But you did this in A-level’: The impact of learning and teaching cultures on BTEC holders’
                           sense of belonging in a research intensive institution (5 minutes of Q&A)
                           Zoe Baker
11.10-11.15 Break
11.15-11.45 Reframing Higher Education transitions: The role of capitals, knowledge and pedagogy (5 minutes of Q&A)
                           Eugenia Katartzi
11.45-12.00 Summary and Q&A

Dr Pallavi Banerjee - University of Exeter 

Does prior qualification affect degree outcomes?

Successive research reports have flagged differential patterns of progression and outcomes for students based on background indicators such as social class, ethnicity, type of school attended, age etc. In this talk I will focus on the trajectories of students with vocational qualifications, principally the Business and Technology Education Council qualifications (BTEC). Which students take up vocational routes? What does access, attainment, continuation and progression of these students in undergraduate courses look like and how does it compare with their peers from other entry qualification routes?

Dr Pallavi Banerjee’s research interests are in the area of educational effectiveness and improvement. She is currently working on two research projects: her ESRC funded project evaluates the fairness of admissions in the UK higher education sector, and her OfS funded research examines differential outcomes for BTEC students at the university. For further details pleases see my university webpage here: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/staff/profile/index.php?web_id=Pallavi_Amitava_Banerjee 
 Dr Zoe Baker - Sheffield Hallam University 
‘But you did this in A-level’: The impact of learning and teaching cultures on BTEC holders’ sense of belonging in a research intensive institution.
Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications holders have been contributing to an expanding HE population in England (Katartzi and Hayward, 2019). Yet, studies have highlighted a relationship between vocational education backgrounds and lower rates of retention (Ertl et al. 2010). This extends to institution type, with BTEC students having the lowest degree completion rates in research intensive institutions (Kelly, 2017; Shields and Masardo, 2017). Drawing on findings from a qualitative case study exploring the academic experiences of students holding BTEC qualifications at a research intensive institution, this paper will illustrate and discuss how departmental cultures and epistemic assumptions can exert a pronounced influence on students’ perceptions of their own academic abilities and sense of belonging throughout their journeys into, and through, HE. This highlights the power of inclusive learning and teaching cultures in having the potential to ensure more equitable academic experiences for these students, and in making a contribution towards a reduction in the reproduction of inequalities in the HE landscape more broadly.
Dr Zoe Baker is a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Development and Research in Education (CDARE) at Sheffield Hallam University. She has conducted research projects in the areas of widening participation, inequalities in higher education, social justice, and the sociology of education. Her past research has specifically focussed on how complex structural constraints can restrict access to higher education, and the relationship between institutional cultures and students' sense of belonging. More recently, Zoe has been exploring the factors that affect higher education access, retention, and graduate outcomes for care-experienced and estranged students in the UK. 
Dr Eugenia Katartzi - University of Nottingham

Reframing Higher Education transitions: The role of capitals, knowledge and pedagogy
Based upon a mixed-method, ESRC-funded project, the paper’s goal is to provide a framework for conceptualising transitions from Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes to Higher Education (HE). Bourdieu’s and Bernstein’s theoretical approaches are brought together to reframe transitions by attending to the capital basis and to the side-lined epistemic and pedagogical parameters thereof. First, the Bourdieusian tools of field and capital are utilised to capture the relational, material and cultural aspects of the educational transitions. Then a Bernsteinian lens is used to theorise how students acquire differentially valorised knowledges, and dialogically develop their sense of themselves as hierarchically positioned knowers. The metaphor of transitional frictions is utilised to capture the ongoing struggles that students with a VET background experience as they make the transition to HE, which are mediated by pedagogical regimes, with distinct organisational logics. The paper concludes by arguing for the need of widening epistemic access and putting in place enabling pedagogies that can ease these transitional frictions, thereby potentially increasing the chances of successful HE participation and completion. 
Dr Eugenia Katartzi is an Assistant Professor at Nottingham University with an expertise in sociology of education and psychosocial studies of childhood, youth and migration. She has worked for major European and national research projects in the areas of HE transitions, education policy and interculturalism. Her work has featured in the journals British Journal of Sociology of Education, Studies in Higher Education, International Studies in Sociology of Education, Intercultural Education, Childhood, Children and Society and Young. She is currently co-authoring a book on Transitions from Vocational to Higher Education.

Network: The Student Access and Experience Network
Date(s): Thursday, 05 November 2020
Times: 10:00 - 12:00
Signup Deadline: Tuesday, 03 November 2020
Location: Online event, link will be provided
Lunch Provided: No
Spaces Left: Unlimited
Prices: Members: Free, Guests: Free
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