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The HE in FE culture and experience for students


The HE in FE culture and experience for students Denise Robinson and Penny Noel University of Huddersfield HUDCETT HE in FE culture and experience: a partnership ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The HE in FE culture and experience for students

The HE in FE culture and experience for students
  • Denise Robinson and Penny Noel
  • University of Huddersfield

Diversity in the HE student population
  • Over the past 20 years our student population has
  • large and diverse. The idea of a single
    experience or set of
  • expectations has no meaning Large numbers of
  • work long hours in paid jobs, study off-campus or
    in the
  • workplace A greater variety of types of
    students has
  • inevitably increased the range of expectations
  • with caring responsibilities, students who are
    less well
  • prepared academically, less able, or less
    independent as
  • learners (Ramsden, 2008, pp. 2-3)

Diversity and HE in FE
  • FE has shown itself effective in supporting the
    widening participation agenda
  • Diversity in HE student populations is perhaps
    most marked within FE
  • Non-traditional students of the wider HE sector
    have been described as the traditional students
    of the FE sector (Cristofoli Watts, 2006,
  • Focus today upon HE in FE students from
    Foundation degree provision and trainees from
    initial teacher training (ITT)

Policy Shifts of HE in FE
  • Growth in the shadows Pre (LEAs) and post 1988
    (Polys) early 90s fees only growth- expansion
    for Polys in FECs
  • Emerging into the sunshine 1995 (HEFCE)
    Dearing (1997)
  • On the uplands of HE? Employability, vocational
    and WP. Post 2003 University Challenge FE
    validation of FDs vocational degrees?

Introduction of FDs
  • HNs- said to be outmoded and a new focus on the
    employability aspect of Foundation Degrees and
    the close development between the
    theory/vocational elements and the involvement of
    employers were all said to make this a
    qualification that would replace the old HNDs and
    HNCs with a fresh outlook and greater relevance
  • Widening Participation issue was high on the

FDs the conundrum reinforcing the divide or
widening participation?
  • We regard it as crucial that the foundation
    degree is established as a credible and
    attractive option to a wide range of students
    lest it reinforce the concentration of students
    from disadvantaged backgrounds in a narrow group
    of institutions, including FE colleges.
  • (LSDA, 2003, p.4)

Perceptions of FD Students
  • Not a research into role and agency an element
    in the study of HE in FE from a critical
  • A difference between younger and more mature
    students emerged

Perceptions of FD students
  • Perception of the role and purpose of a
    Foundation degree
  • Confidence
  • Prestige of a University course
  • Transformational element?

Perceptions - summary
Perceptions Older students ( 25) Younger students
Purpose of FD Valued-work recognised. But -scepticism? A requirement for jobs (potential)
Confidence Lack of confidence No doubt
Prestige HEI v. FEC HEI perceived to have higher prestige HEI perceived to have higher prestige
Transformational opportunity of FD Yes as an addition Yes as an expectation
Widening participation?
  • ...the social composition of our universities
  • remarkably unchanged.  Life inequalities are
  • maintained in higher education
  • (Copland, 2008, p.6)

An illustrative HE in FE student cohort profile
PCET ITT trainees
  • Progress towards a qualified FE sector workforce
  • In 2006-07 89.9 f/t and 83.5 p/t FE teachers
  • qualified or enrolled on a teaching
    qualification (LLUK,
  • 2008)
  • ACL and WBL staff data is less clear it appears
    many WBL staff remain unqualified to teach
    (Jones, 2007 Pye Tait, 2007)
  • A consequence of reform has been a change in the
    profile of in-service trainees more recently
    entering PCET teacher training programmes

The HUDCETT analysis undertaken
  • Consortium trainee data from 2,737 application
    forms for
  • the p/t in service Cert Ed/PGCE for the years
    2005-06 to
  • 2007-008 were analysed using SPSS software
  • Key finding There has been a considerable shift
    in the
  • balance of trainees away from FE college staff,
    with over
  • half the 2007-08 intake working elsewhere (53.3)
  • This shows a decrease from 2003-04 across the
  • Consortium of over 20 in FE college trainee

Classification of trainee key employers (2005-06
to 2007-08)
Literacy, numeracy and teaching experience
  • Despite an increase in trainees with entry
    qualifications at
  • L2 or above in literacy and/or numeracy in
    2007-08, still
  • significant proportions without
  • almost a quarter had no literacy or similar
  • over a third had no numeracy or similar
  • 22 had neither
  • An increase in younger trainees and those very
    new to
  • teaching though more experienced and older
  • continue to enrol

Summary of findings
  • The research identified
  • A shift away from the dominance of FE college
  • A marked increase in those who are younger and
  • experienced (alongside very experienced
  • Significant numbers of trainees who will struggle
    with the academic demands of the course
  • Earlier research had found that trainees not
    working in
  • an FE college were almost twice as likely to
  • leaving the course (Noel, 2004)

A differentiated approach
  • ITT must seek to address the needs of, and ensure
  • relevance for, increasingly disparate groups -
    one size will
  • not comfortably fit all
  • Teacher education emphasises the importance of
  • differentiation in trainee practice. Changes in
  • profiles require that teacher education itself
  • model this approach, addressing
  • teaching context
  • teaching experience
  • level of personal skill

Breakout sessions
The diverse profile of HE in FE students Chancellors 1
Structure in supporting mentoring Chancellors 2
Staff development for research and scholarly activity and improving the student experience Arts Centre Cinema
HE students in FE colleges, a university culture? Social Studies 0.17
FECs HEIs offering a joined up CPD portfolio? Social Studies 0.18
Effective HE in FE student representation Chancellors 3