Motivation & Behaviour - University of Huddersfield

Report
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 perspective, Warwick, 30th - 31st March 2009
Diversity in the HE student population
Over the past 20 years our student population has become
large and diverse. The idea of a single experience or set of
expectations has no meaning … Large numbers of students
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 – students
with caring responsibilities, students who are less well
prepared academically, less able, or less independent as
learners (Ramsden, 2008, pp. 2-3)
2
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, p.62)

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 agenda
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 perspective

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?
Lack of confidence
A requirement for
jobs (potential)
Yes – as an addition
Yes – as an
expectation
Confidence
Prestige HEI v. FEC
Transformational
opportunity of FD
No doubt
HEI perceived to
HEI perceived to
have higher prestige have higher prestige
Widening participation?
...the social composition of our universities remain
remarkably unchanged. Life inequalities are indeed
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 were
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 numbers
Classification of trainee key employers
(2005-06 to 2007-08)
60
P er c en t
50
40
FE 4 9.4 %
30
A ll no n-FE 50 .6%
20
10
(Lo ca l A u tho rity 7 .8% )
0
)
)
5%
(P riva te Tra ini ng 6.6 % )
y
r it
(C
ha
g
si
n
ur
/N
l th
ea
(H
5.
6.
ng
ni
ai
Tr
e
at
5%
6%
)
7.
4%
)
E
H
of
ge
ri v
(P
(C
ol
le
A
al
oc
(L
7.
y
r it
ho
ut
nno
ll
A
8%
.6
50
FE
FE
49
.4
%
%
)
(C ol le ge of H E 7.4 % )
(H ea lth /N u rsin g 5.5 % )
(C ha rit y 5 % )
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 qualification
 over a third had no numeracy or similar qualification
 22% had neither
An increase in younger trainees and those very new to
teaching – though more experienced and older trainees
continue to enrol
Summary of findings
The research identified :




A shift away from the dominance of FE college trainees
A marked increase in those who are younger and less
experienced (alongside very experienced colleagues)
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 consider
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 trainee
profiles require that teacher education itself unambiguously
model this approach, addressing:
 teaching context
 teaching experience
 level of personal skill
Breakout sessions
The diverse profile of HE in FE students
Structure in supporting mentoring
Chancellors 1
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
Social Studies
0.18
Chancellors 3
FECs & HEIs offering a joined up CPD portfolio?
Effective HE in FE student representation

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