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The new Access to HE Diploma Kath Dentith Head of Access, QAA OCN London Conference October 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The new Access to HE Diploma Kath Dentith Head of Access, QAA OCN London Conference October 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The new Access to HE Diploma Kath Dentith Head of Access, QAA OCN London Conference October 2013

2 Developing a revised Diploma specification assessing the context – for students, providers and HE reviewing, analysis & evaluation Awareness addressing external change confronting risks & vulnerabilities Responsiveness exploring new possibilities finding best solutions Imagination being clear about aims & purposes But also…

3 Awareness: the student context younger: 49% Access to HE students are under 25 more mobile: 33% progress to HE more than 25 miles from home more likely to have GCSEs: 60% school pupils achieved English and Maths GCSEs at A* to C in 2011-12 more likely to be self-funded: 24+ (14,720 applied for loans to date) more likely to want vocationally related subjects: 51.4% applied for subjects allied to medicine

4 Awareness: the provider context financial constraints student support funding funding priorities introduction of 24+ loans performance measures completion and success qualifications reform GCSEs and A levels Wolf report and ‘equivalent’ qualifications

5 Awareness: the HE policy context demographic changes and decline in mature student numbers social mobility fair access student number controls – high achieving Access HE students outside SNC

6 Awareness: the HE admissions context UK Quality Code for Higher Education Academic standards Part A Academic quality Part B Information about HE provision Part C

7 QAA’s expectations re HE admissions Chapter B2: Admissions Indicator 1: Institutions have policies and procedures for the recruitment and admission of students … that are fair, clear and explicit …. Indicator 3: Institutions' promotional materials …provide information that will enable applicants to make informed decisions about their options. Indicator 4: Institutions' selection policies… are clear and are followed fairly…Transparent entry requirements … are used to underpin judgements made during the selection process for entry. UK Quality Code for Higher Education - Part B (a brief diversion)

8 Awareness: reviewing, analysis & evaluation - how is the Diploma operating? what are the issues? Review and analysis: research; discussions and surveys with students, HEIs, providers, AVAs (1,500 responses) Evaluation: significant variability problematic for providing -level playing field for students -clear HE entry requirements / standard offers –assurance of standards on differently structured Diplomas Developing and refining ideas: 12 roundtables (280 participants); AVA meetings; expert development group Formal consultation: Jan - Mar 2013 (200 respondents) Outcome: majority support for all proposals

9 Being clear about aims and purposes provide equity for students: equivalence in the achievement and demands required for the same qualification – wherever studied and awarded improve clarity and transparency: about the requirements and standards which apply to all AHE Diplomas - and about how they differ underpin confidence in standards: clear and consistent expectations ensure that common processes can provide comparable outcomes support fair access to HE: enable HE providers to publish clear entry requirements, and students to be selected on fair basis maintain flexibility where this does not threaten equity, clarity, standards or fair access.

10 The 2013 specification – key changes 1. All Diplomas = 60 credits total 3. 45 credits from graded level 3 units concerned with academic subject content 6. GCSE- equivalents no longer endorsed by QAA 5. amendment to regulation on referrals 4. 15 credits from level 2 or ungraded level 3 units 2. Units 3, 6 or 9 credits

11 1. Diploma = 60 credits total Rules of combination identify the units (including mandatory and optional units) which define the required achievement for students = 60 credits Students registered and certificated for specified units to the value of 60 credits, which together define a planned, coherent programme of study Unit registrations no later than 12 weeks from start of course – or before student applies to HE All Diplomas structured of units of 3, 6 or 9 credits 2. Unit sizes: 3,6 or 9 credits

12 3. 45 credits academic subject content Units for 45 credits relate to knowledge and skills of subjects identified in title of the Diploma. Includes specialist and technical skills (eg Maths for engineering or lab skills), but not personal development, or generic English or mathematics or study skills units. Students assessed on these units by subject expert And if ‘research’ units included in the 45, then assessment includes students' command of the knowledge domain and conventions of the subject student work must be original work for the unit only (not derived from work produced for other units)

13 4. Level 2 or ungraded level 3 decision about balance between L2 or ungraded L3 determined at validation according to progression needs units identified as L2 or L3 in Rules of Combination if graded in some Diplomas and ungraded in others, these must be separately validated units may also be concerned with academic subject content

14 5. Referrals Current situation: opportunities for second resubmission limited to the end of the year Two changes in response to concerns: referral allowed at any time of the year more holistic approach to assessment allowed for assessment of referred (second resubmission) work

15 6. GCSE equivalents QAA will no longer endorse ‘GCSE equivalent’ units for Access to HE from 2014-15, because: -varying acceptance by HEIs (& need for Grade B equiv) -lack of recognition by employers -changing policy view of value of ‘equivalent’ quals -policy and funding of GCSEs for adults (funded GCSE achievement before or alongside Access to HE) -effect on student achievements on different Diplomas Provides additional ‘space’ in Diplomas for other units (perhaps at level 2), and focus on skills (perhaps in English and/or maths) that are most relevant for HE.

16 What stays the same? level and size of qualification: Level 3, 60 credits grading model credit/unit technical definitions etc AND what it’s for: preparation for HE who it’s for: adults (19+) who left school with insufficient formal qualifications to progress to higher education

17 Revised Access to HE Diploma: the implementation timeline First students entering HE with new AHE Dipl: 2015-16 Full implementation on all courses: from 2014-15 All courses operating new specification; students applying to HE Development year for AVAs and providers: 2013-14 Courses re-developed/revalidated, as necessary. New specification developed & published: 2012-13 Outline - June 2013Full Specification: Sept 2013

18 Date for your diary: Wednesday 16 October 2013 Access to HE admissions fair Central Hall, Westminster

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