Why is it important for higher education to connect with the VET sector?

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Connections in Higher Education Vol. 35

July, 2012, 373 pages
Published by
N. Brown, S.M. Jones, & A. Adam
0 908557 89 2

This paper examines the value to students of connections between the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education sectors. It presents findings from research at the University of Tasmania which shows that students admitted to higher education on the basis of previous VET perform as well if not better than all other student populations. The paper challenges some commonly held myths about VET students’ academic ability and about the perceived differential status of VET and higher education, and suggests that higher education can learn valuable lessons from VET regarding practice based learning. However, there is only limited uptake of direct pathways from VET to higher education in Tasmania, and the reasons for this are examined. The paper concludes that connections between VET and higher education need to be strengthened to deliver successful outcomes for students. Future directions are likely to include development and co-delivery of a bridging program from VET to higher education, better and more transparent credit transfer processes, and development of concurrent or embedded awards in skill priority areas, resulting in both a VET and a higher education qualification.

Keywords: VET pathways, social inclusion, participation 

Why is it important for higher education to connect with the VET sector?

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Langworthy, Anne & Johns, Susan