THE DETECTION OF BARRIER AND SELECTION COURSES IN THE FIRST BACHELOR YEAR: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A POLICY SUPPORT INSTRUMENT
University of Antwerp (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Due to the absence of specific admission requirements for most degrees in higher education in Flanders (Belgium), the student body is very diverse. A student should obtain his bachelor’s degree in three years, however he is not bound to this and a lot of students fail in their first year. Moreover, the flexibilisation of higher education has resulted in more and more individual study programmes. This makes it difficult to use general pass rates per study year as an indicator of student progression. In order to compensate for this, the Faculty of Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp has developed an instrument to help us understand which courses are able to select the right students in the first bachelor year. Our goal is not only to increase student progression throughout the programme but also to deliver good quality. Therefore we have opted to connect the pass rates per course to the general study results of the individual student. Some other universities look into courses that constitute a stumbling block for students. We created an extra dimension by taking into account for which group of students the course forms a stumbling block. We identified three categories: barrier courses, selection courses, and courses with a neutral role in the selection. Barrier courses are courses that prevent high potential students to progress in their studies. Selection courses are those courses that select the target group of students. Courses with a neutral role in the selection do not select target students, nor do they form a stumbling block for strong students. A number of indicators are used to classify the courses. Our method and different actions and approaches resulting from our analyses will be clarified during the presentation.
Keywords: Student progression, barrier courses, selection courses.