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Work Related & Work Based Learning in HNs and Foundation Degrees in England: A home international comparison Jim Gallacher & Robert Ingram Glasgow Caledonian.

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Presentation on theme: "Work Related & Work Based Learning in HNs and Foundation Degrees in England: A home international comparison Jim Gallacher & Robert Ingram Glasgow Caledonian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work Related & Work Based Learning in HNs and Foundation Degrees in England: A home international comparison Jim Gallacher & Robert Ingram Glasgow Caledonian University Fiona Reeve, Open University

2 Higher Nationals and Foundation Degrees Project - (HN/FD Project) Differing models of short cycle, work-related higher education provision in Scotland & England Major policy initiative to replace HNs with FDs in England (DfEE 2000) Modernisation project for HNs in Scotland ( ) Leitch Report & Skills Strategy for Scotland have placed further emphasis on employer engagement

3 HN/FD Project The project set out the investigate –the emergence of differing policy agendas and frameworks in Scotland and England –Development and implementation of different forms of work based learning (WBL) or work related learning (WRL) provision in Scotland and England (sample of 22 HNs & 8 SQA, 16 FDs) –the experiences of learners and stakeholders participating in this provision (questionnaires from 111 students, 30 student interviews & 13 employers or SSC reps) –the outcomes for learners and employers (national data plus data from programme organisers & follow-up interviews with 19 students & 6 employers)

4 The Policy Framework - England Growing concern with skills deficit at intermediate level HNs perceived to have lost employer roots and failing to develop new awards in growth areas Also interest in creating more accessible and flexible routes into HE to help increase and widen access to HE Initiative to establish FDs led by Blunkett and Department for Education & Employment (DfEE 2000)

5 The Policy Framework - England QAA Benchmark (2004) codifies guidelines for FDs –WBL as integral part of FDs –Employers should be fully involved in design & regular review of programmes, and where possible in delivery, assessment and monitoring of students, particularly in workplace –Partnership between HEIs, colleges, employers & SSCs –Accessibility –Flexibility – full-time part-time, distance, work based & on-line –Opportunities for articulation & progression, eg from apprenticeships and to honours degrees

6 The Policy Framework - Scotland HNs continued to enjoy relatively high level of support at policy level No strong policy steer for change HN Modernisation Project key objectives –Rationalisation – reduce duplication and inefficiency –Improve quality & consistency –Reduce assessment burden –Strengthen links with National Occupational Standards (NOS)

7 The Policy Framework - Scotland Design Principles to guide review teams Less prescriptive than QAA Benchmark Focus is mainly on structure of HN programmes Also an emphasis on Core Skills Involvement of employers through market research and presence on validation panels

8 The Policy Frameworks Compared English proposals are for a more radical re-structuring with introduction of FDs FDs explicit emphasis on WBL – HNs emphasis is on Core Skills Central role for employers in development and delivery of FDs – in HNs employers involved through market research and validation, and in other ways where appropriate and possible Emphasis on opportunities for articulation and progression from FDs – this recognised as option from HNs but not emphasised.

9 Patterns of participation – Entrants to FDs in England Academic Year Full-timePart-timeTotalPercentage Full-time % % Source: HEFCE entrants 44% taught wholly or partly in HEIs 56% taught wholly in colleges

10 Patterns of Participation – Entrants to HNC/Ds in Scotland Academic YearHNCsHNDsTotal ,80211,87428, ,87914,05631,935 Source: SQA Entrants HNCs – 97% in Colleges and 56% of these are full- time HNDs – 78% in Colleges and 91% of these are full- time

11 Work-based/work-related learning on FDs & HNs National policy mediated in programmes at local level through a range of factors: –Established culture & practice within occupational sectors –Interest and involvement of employers Definitional issues for WBL and WRL Similarities and differences between the two countries - forms which WBL or WRL takes varies in both FDs & HNs Overall WBL or WRL a stronger feature of FDs in England than of HNs in Scotland.

12 Work-based/work-related learning on FDs & HNs While national policy frameworks are so different a wide range of WBL & WRL was identified in both FDs and HNC/Ds Evidence of innovative approaches particularly in contexts where WRL was more appropriate than WBL

13 Range of WBL/WRL on FDs & HNs Placements – central elements in HNs & FDs leading to professional qualifications or specific occupations (eg Early Education & Veterinary Nursing) Shorter student led placements (eg FD Events Management, HN Sports Therapy) College based WBL environments (eg HN in Hospitality) including virtual environments (eg FD in Multimedia) College based or college led WRL environments (eg HN in Travel & Tourism) – key areas of work

14 Range of WBL/WRL on FDs & HNs Projects set by industry insiders (eg FD in Fashion Design) Industry based staff as p-t lecturers (eg HN in Fashion Make-up) Using real work of part-time students already employed in sector ( eg FD in Early Years) No WBL or WRL on some programmes, but possibility of industry based qualifications (eg HN in Computing)

15 Students experiences of WBL or WRL Over half of FDs students and HN students rate WBL or WRL as very important in developing knowledge, understanding and skills, and abilities to do the job. However 79% of FD students, but only 45% of HN students see WBL/WRL as a very valuable part of their programme. This reflects the greater emphasis on WBL/WRL in many FD programmes

16 Students experiences of WBL or WRL What do students gain from WBL/WRL –A different type of learning You could sit in a classroom all day with people telling you how it works but you never actually find out till when you get out there when you find all the problems and things and have to deal with them… (Cindy student FD Events Management) –Integrating WBLWRL and classroom based learning …there is something particularly good about having some theory then a placement and going back for theory then coming back for placement it really develops their practical skills and their theory. (Helen employer HNC Early Years)

17 Students experiences of WBL or WRL –Experiencing real life …Im going to know basically the way that its going to work and whos going to be around me and that kind of thing so its definitely probably the most important part of the course. (Kay Student HNC Fashion Make-up) –A foot in the door …but also what was one of the reasons why I actually took the course as well was that I would be able to put a foot in the industry with the work placement (Joyce Student FD Events Management)

18 The role of employers Four categories of involvement –Development –Delivery –Support –Assessment Differences in culture and practice in occupational sectors were very significant. While employer involvement patchy in both FDs & HNs, some evidence of greater involvement in FDs than HNs associated with national policy and the more regional or local focus of some FDs

19 Progression from FDs Full-timePart-time Studying47%13% Studying & employed21%38% Employed26%45% After 6 monthsAfter 3.5 Years % in graduate jobs 39%54% Source DLHE Survey, 6 Months after completion

20 Progression from FDs 54% of FD qualifiers ( ) registered in English HEIs proceeded to honours degree programmes 87% who stayed in same institution got 2 or more years of credit 60% who moved to different institution got 2 or more years of credit

21 Progression from HNs Studying/t raining Permanent UK employ- ment Temporary UK employ- ment Overseas employ- ment UnemployedOther 57%31%5%1%4%2% Source; First destination statistics for full-time students – 2,717 Scottish domiciled entrants with HNC or HND entered 2 nd or 3 rd year of a full-time first degree course (Source: SFC data on entrants to first year of degree programmes not available) ,629 students were awarded HNCs or HNDs (Source: SQA 2008)

22 Progression from HNs & FDs Data from our study confirms national data that majority of students progress to some form of further study Case study data points to significant group of students entering work in a sector not relevant to their studies.

23 Conclusion Despite different national policies with respect to the importance of WBL/WRL a wide range of provision is found in both Scottish HNC/Ds and English FDs. National policies are mediated through established cultures and practices within sectors Scottish HN students are as likely as English FD students to recognise the importance of WBL/WRL for developing knowledge, understanding, skills and the ability to do the job. In a number of cases they have less opportunities to experience this type of learning and as a result they are less likely to see it as a very valuable part of their programme

24 Conclusion This reflects both national policy priorities, but also other factors within FDs such as smaller student cohorts & greater emphasis on local/regional provision. Evidence of innovative approaches to the development of WRL when this is more appropriate than WBL – possible opportunities to develop these further. Employer involvement, while more extensive in FDs, was often limited in both types of programme and the importance of established sectoral traditions emerged as being of considerable importance in shaping this involvement. Progression routes from FDs to Honours degrees are stronger feature than progression from HNs to degrees – follows from national policy.

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