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Progression of college students in England to higher education: BIS research paper number 239

Progression of college students in England to higher education: BIS research paper number 239

Smith, Sharon, Joslin, Hugh and Jameson, Jill ORCID: 0000-0002-9545-8078 (2015) Progression of college students in England to higher education: BIS research paper number 239. Project Report. BIS, London, UK.

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This report presents the findings of research undertaken for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) into the progression to higher education of students from all the FE Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges in England. It is longitudinal research and the report relates to cohorts of students between the academic years 2007-08 and 2011-12 entering higher education (HE) between the years 2008-09 and 2012-13.

This research provides a unique and comprehensive picture of the very different factors underlying the progression behaviour of students progressing to higher education from colleges rather than from school sixth forms. It is unique because it traces progression into both full and part-time higher education and into higher education offered in colleges themselves as well as universities. It is comprehensive because it looks at both the college courses that students progress from and the HE courses they progress to and it analyses trends over time looking at underlying demographic data. It illustrates the added value that FE and Sixth Form Colleges contribute by looking at the GCSE results students leave school with before going to college and it looks at the achievement rates of those awarded degrees including those with First and Upper Second class honours.

The research findings are based on the matching of Individualised Learner Record (ILR) datasets for 2007-08 to 2011-12 for FE and Sixth Form College students that achieved Level 3 qualifications, with ILR and Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) datasets for 2008-09 to 2012-13. They provide a detailed analysis of the progression of students to higher education over time and the report breaks down progression into prescribed and non-prescribed higher education as well as progression to university and to higher education offered by FE Colleges (HE in FE). The matched records contain course level data as well as demographic information about the student cohorts such as age, gender, ethnicity and domicile including deprivation. The course level data provides details of the institutions and types of courses students progressed from (A level, Access, BTEC, NVQ, etc) and the programmes and institutions they progressed to. This richness in the data provides a wide set of variables that can be intersected and compared and this report provides a selection of the key factors arising from the analysis. There is the opportunity to drill down further into the data to obtain more detailed regional, institutional or themed outputs.

The methodology underpinning the analysis has been developed with HESA and with HEFCE through previous research (Joslin & Smith, 2013; Joslin & Smith, 2013a and Joslin & Smith, 2014). An important new element has been included in this report, which is matching with the Department for Education’s Key Stage 4 (KS4) datasets. This has provided new information about the kinds of qualifications FE and Sixth Form College students leave school with and the role of colleges in transforming their life chances through providing the opportunity to achieve at Level 3 and to progress on to higher education.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: © Crown copyright 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: Further Education, Progression to higher education, Student progression, BIS papers, Government policy, Government research, Post-compulsory education, Vocational education and training, Matching datasets, English model of vocational education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Education (EDU)
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Professional Workforce Development
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 16:17

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