About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4474-4482
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESS IN NATIONAL VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS IN THE UK

P. Bidgood, N. Saebi, S. May

Kingston University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Provision of vocational education is becoming increasingly important to the UK’s overall education strategy. Much of this provision is in National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) taken at Further Education (FE) Colleges. There are increasing numbers of people of all ages studying, both full-time and part-time, for such qualifications in the UK; for instance, there was a 15% increase in learners on this type of vocational qualification between 2006/7 and 2007/8. Since they were introduced in 1987, up to September 2008 over 7.6 million NVQs (or their Scottish equivalent) have been awarded.
The authors were commissioned by local FE College to investigate the extent to which a range of profile variables, such as gender, ethnicity, age and social deprivation were associated with student completion and achievement. In addition they were required to provide evidence to inform issues raised in staff and student focus groups. Many of the results from this case study, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, showing that completion rates were indeed associated with gender, ethnicity, age and social deprivation and the interactions between these and other factors have been published (May et al, 2006; Bidgood et al, 2006).
NVQs are divided into 15 Areas of Learning (AoL) ranging across the subjects from Agriculture to Social Sciences. Students may take more than one qualification from different AoLs simultaneously, but success is measured on the qualification taken, which sits in a particular AoL, rather than on the student taking it. In the case study it was shown that AoL was a highly significant factor in success rates at that particular FE College. However, this might be because of local considerations, for example the teaching staff or facilities. Here the national picture is considered and it is shown that there are extensive differences between the various subjects, both in their popularity and in the success rates achieved. In particular, the more technical subjects, such as Engineering or Science generally have significantly lower success rates than the less technical subjects such as Arts and Media or Leisure, Travel and Tourism. This may have implications for both the students, the FE Colleges and even Government policy.

References:
Bidgood P., Saebi N., & May S (2006) Influences on Student withdrawal from further education: a case study, Journal of Vocational Education and Training Vol 58 No 2 pp223-236
May S, Bidgood P., & Saebi N (2006) Are they thinking what we’re thinking? College staff and student perceptions of the impact of ethnicity and gender on completion and achievement at a college of further education Journal of Further and Higher education Vol 30 No 3 pp243-254
@InProceedings{BIDGOOD2010AST,
author = {Bidgood, P. and Saebi, N. and May, S.},
title = {A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESS IN NATIONAL VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS IN THE UK},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4474-4482}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Bidgood AU - N. Saebi AU - S. May
TI - A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESS IN NATIONAL VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS IN THE UK
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 4474
EP - 4482
ER -
P. Bidgood, N. Saebi, S. May (2010) A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESS IN NATIONAL VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS IN THE UK, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 4474-4482.
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